There are many things that can contribute to the failure of a project. Any modern organization has likely encountered one quality related issue or another that has either threatened the failure of their project or has successfully resulted in project failure. Quality management is a key factor to any successful project and is a crucial part of project management. Some of the quality related issues that can lead to a project’s failure are: testing takes more than one cycle, no risk analysis, unaffordable, and quality resources are over-allocated. These situations can present significant challenges to an organization’s project management team.

Testing

In project management, timing means everything to the successful implementation of a project. Much of this time is spent during the testing phase, especially in software project management. It can be difficult to create a timeline for a project especially if your organization is embarking on a new project unlike any project they have previously approached. This is a more prevalent situation with modern organizations as they strive to maintain their competitive spot in the ever advancing markets. New services are needed as an organization grows and new projects are a learning process. It is always a good practice to not assume that testing will be completed in one run. Allowing an appropriate amount of time for testing will ensure that your project remains on schedule even if your testing takes more than one cycle to successfully complete.

No Risk Analysis

Project management absolute beginner’s guide states, “On the one hand, many project managers are guilty of not identifying or being aware of the quality standards they are accountable for. On the other, there are project managers that blindly accept all the quality standards without properly assessing the impact to the project objectives and other critical success factors” (Horine, G. M., 2013, p. 222). A project manager must examine the quality standards he/she is responsible for and take those standards into consideration when determining the impact those standards will have on the successful completion of the project. Without a risk analysis, it is almost impossible for the project management team to determine their risk mitigation procedures to put in place to assist with any potential failures. This can result in total project failure.

We Can’t Afford It

According to our text, it is common within organizations to see quality management steps as something that is just overhead and costly. The fact of the matter is, quality is a priceless, especially in larger organizations where the project encompasses a larger area. Most organizations that manage their projects in a formal setting can’t afford for a project to fail and they most likely understand the value of quality based investments in their projects. The organizations who don’t feel the need to focus come from, “organizations who are likely managed very informally, so to add quality management seems like a major investment” (Horine, G. M., 2013, p. 222).

Over Allocated Resources

It is common for some organizations to have split duties for some employees. It is especially common for those associated with the Information Technology department and the Quality Assurance department to share duties, or even have interdepartmental duties. This can present a challenge in project quality management. Quality Assurance typically isn’t a full-time duty in many organizations so those who are responsible for quality assurance and quality management often have a dual title. Project management absolute beginner’s guide states, “When other pressure events occur, the quality assurance hat is often the first to go for these multi-role team members” (Horine, G. M., 2013, p. 222). This is a crucial part of any project that must be implemented and managed to ensure the overall quality and successful implementation of a project. When your resources are over-allocated, you can risk the loss or overlook critical steps in your project management and quality management’s processes which can result in the failure of the overall project. It is best to have designated full-time roles associated with your project management team that are in full effect throughout the project’s design, testing, implementation, and maintenance stages. This will help ensure the successful completion and implementation of your project.

Conclusion

Quality management is a crucial step in any project. Planning is a key factor in making sure that quality assurance is implemented during the project’s life cycle. Making sure that an appropriate amount of time is allotted for testing, having risk analysis in place to prepare for potential risks and mitigation, having designated roles for the project management team to avoid over-allocating resources, and investing in all the necessary quality management and quality focused efforts during your project’s life cycle will help ensure that your project is completed successfully and implemented without failure. Although quality focused efforts can cost the organization money, preventing the failure of a project will save the organization money and wasted time.

References

Project Management Institute (2013). A guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (5th ed.). Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute, Inc.

Horine, G. M. (2013). Project management absolute beginner’s guide (3rd ed.). Indianapolis, IN: Que Publishing.