Friday, March 25, 2016

10 factors 6: quality

6.    Quality. Understand the expectations of your customer in terms of quality and put a plan in place to meet their expectations.
To borrow from Kant, who taught that  existence is not a predicate, I argue that 'quality' is not a predicate of projects. The correct predicate is 'performance'.

A customer seeks a certain level of performance, and possibly needs the PM's assistance to develop acceptance criteria for the performance sought.

Quality, care of the 'TQM' fad and its relations of past years, is not a thing separate from performance. As soon as it is treated as an overlay on production management failure is being courted because it is an 'add on' not an inherent part of an activity to achieve a performance outcome.

I also wonder at the functional difference between 'plan to meet their expectations' and 'put a plan in place...' The former is a very popular piece of clumsy writing that usually adds nothing to the simple present tense of the verb.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

5. Control the work in progress

The overall control system I use in practical terms is the production horizon: when will 'x' be finished, compared to when it needs to be finished.

A look ahead program will help discuss such questions and Earned Value Analysis will help tell you where you've been, but you need leading indicators of success as well.

Commitments is one such: have you committed dollars to agreed activities sufficient for their timely delivery (e.g. you've got the next sub-contractor signed with sufficient time for him to mobilise to start work in time.).