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The Cost of Quality and the Cost of Non-conformance (#3 in the series Quality Management in Project Management)
By Joseph Phillips

The Cost of Quality

Does Quality Assurance (QA) cost cash? Certainly! We call this the “Cost of Quality.” The Cost of Quality is the expense a project, or organization, must incur to ensure that quality will exist within projects. Imagine that you’re a project manager of an Oracle project. You’ve been assigned a team of programmers that know nothing about Oracle. This crew will be your database administrators for this massive billion-dollar project that could make your career or send you back to the mailroom. Your project team, can’t even spell DBA let alone contribute to your project. What should you do?

Train them. Training is one cost of quality; if you don’t train the project team then they won’t be able to complete the work in the project. Okay, I admit, this is an extreme example, but I wanted you to see that lack of education can cause your project to fail.

Other costs of quality? Safety issues, OSHA issues, union compliance, adherence to regulations and standards, meeting project objectives, and any other expense the project must eat to ensure that project deliverables are accepted by the customer.

The Cost of Non-conformance

When a project cuts corners and doesn’t pay for the cost of quality then the project, or organization, will have to pay the cost of non-conformance. The cost of non-conformance are the monies spent to redo work, buy new materials for those that were wasted, refund customers their money, the loss of customers and sales, fines, and all the other negative things that can happen to an organization when quality is not delivered. It’s no fun.

Joseph Phillips is the author of five books on project management and is a, PMI Project Management Professional, a CompTIA certified Project Professional, and a Certified Technical Trainer. For more information about Project Management Training, please visit Project Seminars.

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