What actually is a quality project? Some project managers might find terms like "quality management" as great ways to assuage the concerns of higher-ups. But when questioned deeper, they might channel their inner Will Ferrell:
Caption: “No one knows what quality means, but it’s provocative. It gets the C-levels going!”
A quality management plan (QMP) defines what a quality project is as well as how the project team plans to ensure the ongoing quality of project deliverables. In project management, QMPs are important because having a definition of quality is one step deeper than having a definition of success. Instead of asking
you succeeded, a QMP helps you define
Get started with this quality management plan template.
What is a quality management plan template?
A quality management plan template is a document you can reuse for every project to standardize your quality management approach. In the
, you'll whip out a QMP template and use it to define what a successful project deliverable is, how the quality assurance team will test each to ensure they're successful, and how the entire project team will use this information to improve future deliverables.
Each project will have its own unique definition of "quality," so your quality management plan template should be
. Projects that need a QMP also tend to be complex or have stakeholders that need assurance of the project's quality. The good QMP template should
for the entire project team and all project stakeholders.
With all this in mind, let's dive into what actually goes into a QMP template.
What does a quality management plan consist of?
As we've covered, quality management plans should conform to its project, so a little tricky to pin down every single thing that might go into a QMP. That said, there are four general categories every QMP must include. A good example of a QMP (which you can use to follow along) is
Quality definition and quality objectives
First, you need to create a shared definition of "quality" in your project. For instance, what is an acceptable amount of latency? Or, are there regulations or industry quality standards your product must conform to? You might already know what this definition is, or you may need to brainstorm with the project team. Either way, you need clear definitions of quality.
With this definition in mind, outline the quality objectives of the QMP. Quality objectives (as opposed to overall project objectives) outline the reasoning behind ensuring project quality. Answer questions like, "Why are you creating this QMP document in the first place?" and "Why is it important to manage the quality of this project so closely?" These objectives might appear as a series of bullet points, a short statement, or a spreadsheet header under the project name.
The quality assurance process
The quality assurance (QA) process is the workflow of managing quality. Your QMP should have a high-level
each deliverable goes through to ensure it meets the desired level of quality. Alongside these phases should also be roles and responsibilities of the people in charge of each phase. If
is an issue you'd like to keep an eye on, you can also include a section where you explain how QA factors into project scope and overall budget.
Going in-depth into QA testing is outside the scope of this article, but you can
A quality control plan
What happens when a deliverable doesn't meet its definition of quality? How, specifically, will you know if it met this definition or not? This is where the quality control plan kicks in. A quality control plan defines how you'll monitor quality and correct any quality issues that arise.
Provide an overview of the metrics you'll track to ensure deliverables pass each quality milestone, define when and how often you'll run audits to avoid nonconformance, and include control procedures for when issues become apparent.
Continuous improvement plan
QMPs are living documents that need to include
It's unlikely you'll foresee every quality issue in the project planning phase. Unforeseen issues always arise, and you'll need to practice frequent iteration.
Your QMP should outline the process for learning from the QA process as it progresses and incorporates those learnings in the QMP itself. This process might include:
review, where you review how best to team members on various project processes.
Peer review, where peers review each other's work.
, where you make reallocate resources to areas of the QA process that are taking more than you initially planned.
Get started with this quality management plan template.
Make a copy of this free quality management plan template to start tracking and monitoring the quality of your projects.
Deliver exceptional results with Coda's quality management plan template
Step 1: Add quality definitions and objectives
page, you will add the various components of your quality management plan. First, you can click on the
Add Quality Definition
button to add a new industry standard or benchmark that defines quality for your project. For each quality definition, write down the objective you would like to reach and why your project team should strive to meet this standard. These definitions and objectives set the tone for the overall quality of your project.
Step 2: Add quality assurance processes
In the next table, you can define the “health checks” in your quality assurance process. Enter the various processes you would like to audit and do a “health check” on to ensure your project delivers the quality your project team expects. The green bars are a visual indicator to show the overall health of a given process.
Step 3: Create a quality control plan
The final step is creating a quality control plan to validate the final product, service, or deliverable of your project. Add a quality control process and milestones for each process. Each milestone can have an
Est. Start Date
, and more. By adding more columns to the
table, you can create a more thorough quality control plan. You can then view a timeline of your various milestones in the chart at the bottom of the page.
Quality management plan FAQs
How do you write a quality management plan?
To write a quality management plan, you can use a collaborative document app (like Coda) or a spreadsheet tool (like Excel) to create a shared definition of project quality, including the QA process, quality control planning, and overall project requirements.
What are the three components of a quality management plan?
The three components of a quality management plan are:
Quality definition and overview, which provides a high-level overview of what a "quality project" means.
The quality assurance process, which is the process for testing the quality of project deliverables.
The quality control plan, which is the plan for monitoring and addressing quality issues.
What is the difference between a quality management plan and a quality assurance plan?
A quality management plan provides a broad overview of everything involved with ensuring project quality. A quality assurance plan outlines the part of the project where you apply QA processes. A quality assurance plan can be a part of the quality management plan.