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PRINCE2 - Initiating a Project (IP) part 2

Planning Quality (IP1)

Fundamental principles

The outcome of the project must conform to the customer’s quality expectations and 'Acceptance Criteria' [see PRINCE2® Product Description in file ‘Acceptance criteria.doc’ in the product package].
These must be stated and agreed at the beginning of the project.

This would include the standards used and the means of assessing achievement of expectations within the final product.


This sub-process builds on the Project Approach defined in SU5 and describes how quality will be achieved in the subsequent planning process.

Process description

The objectives are to determine the quality required for the products of the project.

Also, via the Project Quality Plan to plan the project’s approach to quality by:

  • To establish the quality regime that will apply to the project and what Project Assurance arrangements will be employed
  • Agreeing the customer’s expectations
  • Refining the project’s Acceptance Criteria
  • Establishing the approach to be used within the project for the control of changes

Achieving the above will require various steps:

  • Establish links to any corporate and / or programme quality assurance function and ensure that all project quality activities support, and are supported by, this function. This may include assigning a quality assurance role for the project (as part of the Project Assurance role)
  • Does the customer and / or the supplier have a quality management system that should apply to aspects of the project?
  • Define what combination of standards from those of the customer and supplier will be used in the project
  • Establish any quality assurance needs for the project management products and activities, especially meeting the needs of the quality management system where these are applicable
  • Establish the means by which overall success of the project’s final product is to be measured, and prioritise them
  • Identify the quality responsibilities both within and external to the project
  • Identify the quality control techniques and procedures to be employed during the conduct of the project
  • Create the Configuration Management and the change control procedures to be adopted, including:
  1. Responsibilities
  2. Procedures
  3. Change budget
  4. Documentation
  • Assemble and finalise the above elements into the Project Quality Plan
  • Set up a Quality Log to hold details of all planned and actual quality checks. Additions will be made to this as each Stage and Team Plan is created.

The Project Mandate or Project Brief may have included some statements about quality planning if the project had been part of a programme.
These would form the basis of the Project Quality Plan.
If there is any discrepancy between the Project Quality Plan and the Project Mandate and Project Brief it will need to be discussed with programme management.

Any existing standards that will be used should be referenced.


The Project Manager is responsible for this sub-process and assisted with Project Assurance responsibilities, particularly those with business assurance responsibilities. The work of this sub-process must be carried out in close co-ordination with any existing quality assurance function at corporate level.

Information needs
Management informationUsageExplanation
Project BriefInputThis document should contain the customer’s quality expectations and the Acceptance Criteria.
Quality standardsInputStandards with which projects must comply.
Project ApproachInputTo establish the most appropriate approach to quality, there is a need to know how the project’s work is to be approached as this could have a fundamental effect on the methods and resources used.
Project management team structure and job descriptionsInput/UpdateTo establish quality responsibilities and add them into job descriptions where appropriate.
Project Quality PlanOutputThis will contain the results of Planning Quality (IP1), including the (possibly) refined and expanded Acceptance Criteria, and will be an element of the Project Initiation Document output from Assembling a Project Initiation Document (IP6).
Quality LogOutputCreated in readiness to record all details of quality checks.

These are given in tabular form in the file ‘IP1 planning quality.doc’ in the product package.

Key criteria

  • Have all quality standards associated with the project’s area of impact been identified and considered?
  • Has the customer imposed any Acceptance Criteria on the final product that will require quality-related work beyond normal expectations?
  • Have all those, and only those, standards relevant to the successful final product of the project been included?
  • Are the approaches to assuring quality for the project appropriate in the light of the standards selected?
  • Are the quality criteria measurable or assessable by the quality control mechanisms identified?
  • Are the change control and quality assurance methods appropriate for the scale, complexity and risk exposure of the project?
  • How will quality assurance be provided on projects where the Project Manager is not technically qualified?

If much of the information needed (such as standards and quality assurance functions) has already been documented it will usually be enough to reference these in the Project Quality Plan.
This would include clear identification and justification of any variation from the standards.
However, the remainder of the Project Quality Plan must be explicitly stated.

The Project Quality Plan may need to take into account any planned change of suppliers during the project, as they may have different quality standards.

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.
The Complete Project Management package.

And much more besides - at a fantastic price.