Last edited 25 Jan 2016

Project quality plan PQP

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The term 'quality assurance' describes a set of planned, systematic actions to ensure that products and services comply with specified requirements. It not only involves checking the final quality of products to avoid defects, as is the case in quality control, but also checking product quality in a planned way through all the production stages. It is the development of work and product design procedures to prevent errors from occurring in the first place, based on planning, backed up by quality manuals and tools.

A project quality plan (PQP, sometimes referred to as a quality management plan, quality assurance plan or project quality management plan) is a project-specific quality plan that describes the activities, standards, tools and processes necessary to achieve quality in the delivery of a project.

It is sometimes considered to be interchangeable with the project execution plan (PEP) which sets out the overall strategy for managing the project, describing who does what and how, and defining the policies, procedures and priorities that will be adopted. The RIBA suggest that the project execution plan or project quality plan helps track and control projects which can progress erratically and intermittently and should pass the ‘what happens if ‘Fred’ is knocked-down by a bus’ test, describing the project and processes in such a way that competent people could take over the project and maintain the program, service and performance.

However, on large projects, the project execution plan might be an overarching document that includes (or references) a number of more detailed plans focussing on specific issues such as; the project quality plan, health and safety plan, risk management plan, value management plan, stakeholder management plan and so on.

For more information see Project Execution Plan.

The project quality plan should:

  • Provide explanatory text describing the nature of the project and the quality expectations.
  • Set out the organisations quality policies (for example if they are ISO 9001 certified) and how these policies will apply to the project.
  • Identify other quality criteria or policies that may need to be followed, such as the requirements of clients or funders.
  • Describe how quality requirements will cascade down through the supply chain.
  • Describe the activities necessary to deliver the project and the order in which they will be carried out.
  • Describe the resources required.
  • Set out quality roles and responsibilities.
  • Identify the standards that will apply.
  • Describe monitoring and reporting procedures and the process for delivering continuous improvement.
  • Describe procedures for dealing with defects.
  • Describe document control procedures.
  • Describe change control procedures.
  • Set out any training requirements.
  • Schedule tools that will be used.
  • List reference material.

Some of these elements may be common to all projects, however, the project quality plan should not duplicate information that is available elsewhere (but rather should reference it), and it should be project specific, rather than an generic a box ticking exercise that is of no benefit to the project.

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