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How to Create an Effective Quality Assurance Plan

written by: Ronda Bowen • edited by: Marlene Gundlach • updated: 6/2/2011

Project managers need to ensure that quality is managed effectively throughout a project. A good quality assurance plan aids in this endeavor.

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    What is a Quality Assurance Plan?

    A quality assurance plan is a document, constructed by the project team, meant to ensure the final products are of the utmost quality. A quality assurance plan contains a set of documented activities meant to ensure that customers are satisfied with the goods or services a company provides. There are four steps of the quality assurance process: Plan, Do, Check, and Act. The focus of this article will be on what items go into a quality assurance plan. The quality assurance plan should define objectives, roles and responsibilities, coordinate with other plans, and define tasks and the schedule.

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    Definition of Quality Objectives

    No matter what system you use, you will need to be sure that the objectives have been defined for the project. Six Sigma uses a predefined algorythm for determining quality objectives. Part of determining the objectives for the quality plan project involves identifying the requirements of the customers. For example, if a particular store generates many complaints about the level of customer service, more employee training may be required. Second, the level of quality must be defined. Is your company going for zero defects? Or is one in one hundred okay? Make sure your objectives are well written and specific.

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    Defining Roles and Responsibilities

    Once the quality objectives have been defined and stated, the next important part of creating a quality assurance plan is to define the roles and responsibilities of team members. In doing this, you will want to list each role that will be required. Once you have listed the roles, then you can itemize the responsibilities of each role. Be specific. You want the person who is assigned the roles to understand completely what is meant by each responsibility written for them.

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    Coordinate with Other Plans

    No project plan occurs in a vacuum. This is even more true with the quality assurance plan. Make sure you are on the same level as those working on the risk management plans, the resource management plans, and the change management plans. It would be a terrible thing to work hard on a quality assessment plan that contradicts something in the risk management plan. Talk to the other people and project managers in your department.

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    Define Tasks and Schedule

    Once the objectives and roles have been defined, and the other teams have been coordinated with, you can then begin to define tasks and create a schedule. Each and every task should relate directly to the quality objectives. Once each task has been defined, using the objectives as a reference, then you can begin to set the schedule. You can schedule two ways: either from the deadline in or from the start date out. Each has their own benefits.You may wish to utilize a downloadable sample of a quality assurance template.


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