Control Quality Inputs You Should Know for the PMP Certification Exam

The first item you reference in preparation for the PMP Certification Exam is the quality management plan, which is part of the project management plan. The quality management plan provides direction for the Control Quality process. For example, it can have the following information:

  • Information for control charts includes the upper and lower control limits and the upper and lower specification limits.

  • The number of items to sample if you use statistical sampling, the criteria you are sampling for, and the measurements for attribute and/or variable sampling.

  • Flow charts of an existing process that you’re looking to improve.

Your quality management plan will also define the roles and responsibilities for quality control and identify the organizational process assets, such as any policies and procedures that need to be followed.

Quality metrics are the specific measurements that need to be met for the results to meet the quality requirements. For a childcare center project, you could have the following metrics for schedule performance:

  • 90% of all activities must start within 3 days of their scheduled start.

  • 100% of all activities on the critical path must finish on or before their scheduled finish date.

  • No activity on a path with float shall use more than 50% of the float.

A quality checklist helps you make sure that all the proper steps are being followed to comply with policies, regulations, or processes. You can use a punch list (a fancy construction term for a list of unfinished matters that require attention) for the construction part of the childcare project to ensure all the construction requirements are met and that the center is ready to open.

The information in the quality plan, metrics, and checklists is used with the work performance data and the deliverables. The work performance data come from the Direct and Manage Project Work process. The work performance data are usually used to determine whether the project performance is acceptable. The deliverables are used to determine whether the product performance is acceptable.

Validate change requests

The Control Quality process is where change requests are validated. Verification that the change was implemented correctly takes place in the Perform Integrated Change Control process. The approved change requests are an input to Control Quality. The implementation of those change requests is reviewed; if the change requests are implemented as directed, they are validated. This process closes the loop on the change request process.

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Following the change request through the Perform Integrated Change Control process and then validating that it was implemented correctly in the Control Quality process may not seem like such a big deal, but when you’re implementing a scope change — particularly a big scope change — you need to spend sufficient time making sure you understand the requirements, deliverables, resources, and risks associated with that change.

Additionally, the schedule and budget documents need to reflect the change. When validating the change in the Control Quality process, you make sure that the work breakdown structure (WBS), schedule, budget, resource requirements, and all other documentation are updated and consistently reflect the approved change.

Example of validating change requests

To bring life to this subject, here’s an example. Imagine a customer sees the product and wants changes. Using a scenario from the example of a childcare center, assume that the parents come to the center after it’s framed but before any of the electric, plumbing, and HVAC work is done.

Some of the parents think it would be a good idea to increase the size of the playroom and decrease the size of the eating area. The contractor is on site and says that could be done and that he can give an estimate for cost and schedule implications by the end of the week.

Carry this scenario further and assume that the change control process was used, the schedule impact was only a week, and the budget impact was $12,000. The change control board decides to accept this change. The decision is communicated to the parents, and the change is incorporated. As part of the quality control process, you want to see that the plans were changed as specified by the parents.

You should check the schedule to make sure the new work doesn’t have a schedule impact of greater than one week, and check the budget to ensure that the $12,000 is recorded — but no more than that. You should also do a walk-through after the change is implemented to make sure the area was reconfigured correctly.

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