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Quality Assurance
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Although quality is the underlying principle in everything we do, quality assurance is a very specific management activity that is run in conjunction with normal project activities. Research found that quality minded organizations experienced general improvements after beginning TQM programmes.

Quality assurance normally has two components:
Benchmarking – this is the definition of the quality standard that has to be met
Continuous improvement – constantly improving the policies, procedures and processes to ensure that the benchmarked standard is achieved or exceeded

Benchmarking consists of the following activities:

  • Getting started
  1. Plan for benchmarking, determine timelines and establish the project plan
  2. Determine the quality organization
  3. Set up the management structure
  • Conducting research
  1. Collect information
  2. Research the “best of breed” standards
  3. Determine who has achieved the standards
  4. Determine what information is required
  • Collecting and sharing information
  1. Conduct surveys
  2. Do site visits
  3. Determine any third-party involvement
  4. Share information and results with the quality assurance organization

The continuous improvement process consists of the following activities:

  • Preparing to benchmark
  1. Identify the key processes that are involved
  2. Form a team that will be involved with the benchmarking process
  3. Ensure that the entire team understands the processes that are involved and the impact the processes have on quality
  • Selecting who to benchmark
  1. Establish relationship with the persons and organizations that are involved
  2. Plan to collect and share information
  • Analysing, adapting and improving
  1. Compare data of actual vs. planned
  2. Plan to surpass the quality standard
  3. Implement and monitor the improved process

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