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PRINCE2 - Quality review technique part 1



What is it?

The product must ‘conform to requirements’ or be ‘fit for purpose’.
The quality review ensures this will be the case using a structured and organised procedure.

You must first identify those that have a vested interest in the product, for example, the Customer or User as well as others.
The product is then reviewed and comments may lead to changes agreed changes and a list of agreed actions.

Once the agreed changes have been made the product will be signed off as meeting the quality criteria as set out.
The product is now approved.

The benefits

  • Any system that identified problems early will reduce costs for the final product. In addition, you will gain experience for future product development.
  • An objective measurement for management progress control is provided. This affords greater assurance to the Project Manager that the product meets requirements
  • As all interested parties have input into the process it encourages a team view of product development.
  • User(s) are more willing to commit to a product that has passed through quality review.

Context

A quality review can happen at any point in the development of the product.

Quality reviews may need consideration as part of other processes, for example:

  • Planning (PL) – to consider the pre-planning and resource of quality reviews.
  • Managing Product Delivery (MP) – most quality reviews will be here involving the creation of the products.
  • Authorising Work Package (CS1) – addresses the handover of responsibility for product production.
  • Assessing Progress (CS2) – for progress monitoring and reporting. Completed quality reviews will be part of the updated Quality Log.

Overview of the technique

Objectives

There are 6 key objectives:

  • Assess the conformity of a product against set criteria
  • Provide a platform for product improvement
  • Involve all those who have an interest in the product in checking its quality
  • Spread ownership of the product
  • Obtain commitment from all vested interests to the product
  • Provide a mechanism for management monitoring and control

Responsibilities

There are 4 specific roles and 4 others with responsibilities for quality review that will be included in their job descriptions.

The first 4 are:

Review chairperson

This person will run the quality review and is different from the Executive who will run the Project Board.
The role of the chairperson is discussed in more general terms elsewhere [see Quality review - part 2].
There are specific responsibilities.

  1. Check that the product is ready for review
  2. Organisation must be in place, for example, venue, date, time, participants and duration
  3. Collate the question lists and set the review meeting agenda
  4. Chair the quality review meeting
  5. Keep discussions on track by making sure that views and comments do not stray the main aim of the meeting
  6. Ensure that any action and required results are agreed
  7. Together with the reviews to determine the quality of the result
  8. Maintain the Project and / or Team Manager awareness of the status of all quality reviews
  9. Provide final review sign off
  10. If product problems cannot be resolved in a short time span the chairperson should institute exception procedures through
  11. The Project and / or Team Manager.
Producer

This person or group representative will be responsible for the creation of the product.

It has the following responsibilities:

  1. To provide all reviewers with the relevant review products
  2. To prepare for the review meeting
  3. Assess question lists prior to the review meeting and use them to assist the review chairperson to set the review meeting agenda
  4. To answer questions about the product during the review procedure, agree errors and explain any implications of these errors
  5. Agree action to resolve errors
  6. Ensure that any agreed actions are carried out
  7. Obtain sign-off from the review chairperson when the reviewers have approved all changes
Reviewer

This person has the following responsibilities:

  1. Review the product
  2. Assess the product against the quality criteria specified in the Product Description
  3. Document questions on the product against the pre-set quality criteria
  4. Ensure errors are fully understood by the producer and are subsequently resolved satisfactorily
  5. Sign off any follow-up action list items when identified as checker
Scribe

The responsibilities are:

  1. Assist the chairperson in the review of administrative details, such as arrangements of the venue
  2. Take notes of agreed actions during the review meeting
  3. Read back the agreed actions at the end of the meeting and note who is to take corrective action and who is to check the corrections

The other 4 persons involved, with their responsibilities, apart from the 4 specific ones above are:

Project Manager
  1. Plan the quality reviews in outline
  2. Plan to overcome any identified exception conditions raised as a result of a quality review
  3. Act as a reviewer where appropriate
Team Manager
  1. Plan quality reviews in detail
  2. Identify any quality review resources required from the team
  3. Monitor quality review progress against plan
  4. Report progress to the Project Manager

If the Project Manager is directly managing the work the Team Manage role may not be necessary.

Project Assurance roles
  1. Will advise on suitable reviewers for each quality review
  2. Will provide adequate training that will ensure that all know their roles and responsibilities
  3. To make sure that the quality review procedure is being properly followed
  4. Checks that any follow-up actions are being properly monitored
  5. Log and report on the use of corporate standards and advise on improvements and amendments
  6. Act as reviewers where appropriate
Project Support roles

Particular person in support roles can act as reviewers as necessary. Project support may be able to help with the administration duties, for example, organising the venue and distributing the necessary documentation. Also, they may help in chasing follow-up actions.

Non - PRINCE2 information

This product contains EVERYTHING in the publications:

Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 - 2005 edition
Managing successful Projects with PRINCE2 – 2009 edition
Directing Projects with PRINCE2.
plus:
The Complete Project Management package.

And much more besides - at a fantastic price.