Another item that needs to be included in the project scope is the expectations of what the level of quality the sponsor and stakeholders expect during the project as well as the result of the project. This will help to develop the quality measurements that the stakeholders can agree to so the sponsor’s expectations will be met.
Once the project sponsor agrees to the content of the project charter, the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) needs to be developed which will be used to create performance and quality measurements. The WBS will house estimated times, resources and cost. These are items that can be measured during the project and can be compared to actual times and costs as completion of the activities are documented. Also within the WBS, control limits can be established for activities in order to track quality. These comparisons can be used to measure the progress of the project and ensure there is not a risk or quality issue.
Stakeholders – Definition
Susniene’ (2007, p.25) identifies the following as steps for stakeholder analysis:
- Identification of stakeholders.
- Prioritization of stakeholders.
- Understanding stakeholder needs and interest.
- Integrating stakeholder needs into organization’s performance plans.
Traditionally, stakeholders were only internal but overtime the lines between internal and external stakeholders have become blurred. This comes from the increased use of subcontractors and vendors to fill the void of traditionally having full-time employees with skills that may only be needed for projects. If very specific skills are appropriate for the project results, it could be cost effective to hire external resources that have the specialized skills. There are tradeoffs in using internal versus external resources that a company will need to justify.
The technical resources on an IS project team will look to SME’s to help identify current processes and what the need is so the project can provide customers a quality product/service. The SME will be valuable when it is time to test so they help ensure the results meet the project scope.
Over time, companies realized they needed to list external stakeholders as part of their projects. External stakeholders can be customers, vendors and other parties that have some kind of impact – financial, directly or indirectly to the project. “The most important stakeholder group is customers and through satisfaction of their interests, other stakeholders’ interest could be satisfied” (Susniene’, 2007, p.24). Ensuring the customer is not adversely affected by the result of the project will help define how quality on the project is managed.
The use of subcontractors and vendors has increased for companies. In most projects, subcontractors and vendors will have a financial impact so they need to be listed as a stakeholder and be active with definition of the project. Traditionally, full-time employees who work for the sponsor of the project supplied these services but over time, companies have found that they may not have the necessary skills and/or it is more cost effective to use external resources especially when it is for a one-time project.
There are tradeoffs using external resources. Those tradeoffs need to be measured by each company as to what the benefit is for them. Companies “will select partners that are willing to transfer their tacit or unwritten knowledge” (Loke, et al, 2012, p.785). A company’s reputation can be impacted if their performance results in less than expected quality. The subcontractor or vendor’s quality for their portion of the project can affect the overall project end result.