8.4 Quality Management and Process Improvement Approaches

The PMBOK project quality processes are compatible with other quality management approaches.

It's necessary for the project team to have a general understanding of different quality management approaches for a couple of reasons.

The first is because when projects are performed for external customers, the customer may require project quality management to align with its own organizational practices.

The second is that when a performing organization doesn't have a formal quality management methodology or there are multiple methodologies in place because several organizations are involved in the project, it's up to the project team to develop their own quality policy for the project.

Total Quality Management (TQM)

Total Quality Management Overview:

TQM embeds awareness of and participation in quality activities throughout all of an organization’s processes and its business, management, and culture.
TQM aims to provide increased customer satisfaction at ever lower costs.

Total Quality Management History:

Armand Feigenbaum introduced the concept of Total Quality Control in his 1951 book, Quality Control: Principles, Practice, and Administration.

Over time, Feigenbaum's idea evolved through the efforts of W. Edwards Deming, Joseph Juran, Phillip B. Crosby, and Kaoru Ishikawa into Total Quality Management.

TQM continues to evolve and is embedded in other management practices.

Total Quality Management Philosophy:

Five basic principles involved in TQM

  1. Management commitment.
  2. Employee empowerment.
  3. Fact-based decision-making.
  4. Continuous improvement.
  5. Customer focus.

Main Total Quality Management Elements:

  • Deming's Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle drives the TQM process.
  • Quality must be managed.
  • Everyone is a customer to someone and is a supplier to somebody.
  • Processes, not people, are the problem.
  • Everyone within an organization is responsible for quality.
  • Problems must be prevented and not just fixed.
  • Quality improvements must be continuous.
  • Quality goals are based on requirements and can't be compromised.
  • Life-cycle costs are what should be considered and not front-end costs.
  • Management must lead and support quality efforts.

Six Sigma

Six Sigma Overview:

Six Sigma focuses on continuous efforts to remove the causes of defects and variances within processes.

Efforts are driven by quantifiable and measurable results and passionate leadership.

In Six Sigma, a defect is anything that can lead to customer dissatisfaction. Six Sigma is also inspired by Deming's Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle.

Six Sigma History:

Six Sigma was first conceived and formulated by Bill Smith at Motorola.

Though originally used in the manufacturing sector; Six Sigma is used in all types of businesses.

Six Sigma Philosophy:

There are two core methods of Six Sigma:

One for improving existing processes or products and a second for creating new processes or products.

Six Sigma Methods

Six Sigma Methods

ISO 9000

ISO 9000 Overview:

The International Standards Organization developed the ISO 9000 to help make sure that companies follow their own prescribed processes.

The ISO 9000 standard can be used by any company or industry.

What we collectively refer to as ISO 9000 actually contains three quality standards: ISO 9000:2005, ISO 9001:2000, and ISO 9004:2000. ISO certification (e.g., ISO 9001) is not a guarantee in itself of compliance to quality processes.

ISO 9000 History:

The first ISO 9000 version was completed in 1987 and has undergone several revisions.

ISO 9000 Philosophy:

The ISO 9000 standard has eight principles:

  1. Customer focus.
  2. Leadership.
  3. Involvement of people.
  4. Process-based approach.
  5. System approach to management.
  6. Continual improvement.
  7. Factual approach to decision making.
  8. Mutually beneficial supplier relationships.

Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA)

Failure Mode and Effect Analysis Overview:

Failure mode and effect analysis looks for potential or actual defects in a process or product and studies their consequences.

Failure Mode and Effect Analysis History:

FMEA was originally used in the military in the 1940s, used by NASA in the 1960s, and by Ford Motor Company in the 1970s13.

The updated FMEA procedures published in the MIL-STD-1629A document are those generally accepted in both military and commercial industries.

Failure Mode and Effect Analysis Philosophy:

FMEA starts with a process diagram and a thorough analysis.

Actual or potential failures are then identified and their severity, number of occurrences, and how likely they are to be detected are logged onto a matrix. 

Failures are then ranked by risk, and actions are identified to mitigate or prevent failures and improve early detection.

Quality Function Deployment (QFD)

Quality Function Deployment Overview:​

QFD aims to link the needs of the customer with all production components, such as design, development, engineering, and manufacturing.

Quality Function Deployment uses elements of systems thinking, psychology and epistemology to uncover explicit and unspoken customer needs and identifying business opportunities.

Quality Function Deployment History:

QFD was started by professors Shigeru Mizuno and Yoji Akao in Japan in the 1960s14.

Though originally developed for manufacturing industries, QFD was adopted by in the 1980s by other industries, including software development and service industries.

Quality Function Deployment Philosophy:

In very general terms, QFD follows four phases to develop a house of quality

House of Quality

House of Quality

The house of quality (HOQ) is a matrix that represents the relationships between items in the matrix and includes “rooms,” such as customer requirements, technical requirements, and targets.

Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI®)

Capability Maturity Model Integration Overview:

CMMI® provides a framework that focuses on improving business processes by establishing best practices and then appraising those organizations on a maturity level from one to five.

A higher maturity level indicates that an organization’s practices are more likely to be efficient and quality focused.

Capability Maturity Model Integration History:​

CMMI® was developed by a consortium of experts from Carnegie Mellon University, industry, and the U.S. government.

There are currently three CMMI models that have been released between 2006 and 2009.

Capability Maturity Model Integration Philosophy:​

Organizations undergo appraisals to determine their CMMI compliance and be awarded a maturity level rating.

  1. Initial: The procedures for managing the process are reactive in nature rather than proactive.
  2. Managed: The process is managed through isolated projects or similar efforts.
  3. Defined: The process is tailored towards organizational needs rather than just being focused on isolated projected objectives.
  4. Quantitatively Managed: The process is aggressively measured and controlled.
  5. Optimizing: There are concerted and ongoing efforts focused on improving the process.

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