|Metric||Target||Data Needed||Who will Collect||How/When Collected|
|Cost (Actual vs Budget)||within 10% +/-||Resource Costs||Project Manager||Budget monitoring / variance|
|Delivered within timeline (Actual vs Budget)||within 10% +/-||Completion Dates||Project Manager||Project Plan|
|Quality of Deliverables||95-100%||Defects, Re-fix timeline||Testing Lead||Test Scripts|
|Deliverables match Scope||100%||Change Requests||Project Manager||Monthly|
|Project Team Performance||4.0 out of 5 scale||Customer survey||Stakeholder||Monthly|
|Vendor Performance||3.5 out of 5 scale||Deliverables wihin timeline and cost||Project Manager||Monthly|
Figure 2 – Balance Scorecard
Control charts can be used to track statistical information throughout the projects. Collecting and monitoring information such as actual costs versus budget costs, number of testing scripts performed to defects, etc. can easily be seen as within or outside of the set limits. Identifying what the control limits are at the start of the project allows you to monitor when a project is at risk due to too many defects or over budget, etc. “Upper and lower control limits are set by the project manager and appropriate stakeholders to reflect the points at which corrective action will be taken to prevent exceeding specification limits.” (PMBOK, 2004, Location 3887 of 9804). Figure 3 shows a sample of a control chart. Points above the center line would need to be reviewed closely to identify if they will or are causing risk to the project. Control charts use points, as shown in the same with a line to illustrate how the data falls within the control limits identified.
|Upper Control Limit||UCL|
|Centerline / Average||X|
|Lower Control Limit||LCL|
Figure 3 – Control Chart
Project Acceptance Criteria
“If you cannot deliver the needed quality, then even if your project meets item, costs and other easy-to-measure factors, you managed (or failed to manage) a failed project” (Goff, 2008, p.2) Identifying what criteria is acceptable is important so the project team can review how the project is performing. The acceptance criterion identifies what the stakeholders agree to what quality means to them for the projects.
When vendors are part of the project, the internal stakeholders will need to identify what they expect the quality of the vendor to provide. Since the vendor is identified as a stakeholder, the vendor will need to agree to the limits as it fits within the overall project quality. The overall quality of the project will need to be a collaboration of internal and external resources as well as all stakeholders.
Sometimes it is difficult in IS projects to identify quality but measuring defects, costs and timeline delivery are items that are measureable. Using the project scope, the WBS and other project documents to review if the end result of the project meets what was expected will help stakeholders ensure quality has been accomplished. If the scope and quality meet the sponsor and stakeholders expectations, then project is meeting the acceptance criterion.
Loke’s (2012, p.794) study showed that companies committed to quality management tend to learn more because they are more focused on technology that supports learning and their partners (external vendors) will share knowledge since it will enhance their own competitiveness. All stakeholders being a part of the quality process from the start till the end of the project will ensure that “customers receive greater value because of the higher-quality products and lower prices.” (Mefford, 2011, p.134).
Continuous tracking and monitoring throughout the project lifecycle will ensure that quality can be delivered and helps to focus the project towards success. Not tracking and monitoring for quality throughout the lifecycle of a project will mean the project will not succeed and customers’ expectations are not met. Whenever a project has clear definition of what quality means, shows that stakeholders care about the outcome of the project.
In today’s competitive world, delivering a quality product and/or service means a company is on the path to ensuring their success. Projects that are more collaborative in nature, such as where external stakeholders are other companies whose finance and reputation are at stake along with the sponsor’s company, means that quality must be the responsibility of all stakeholders. One stakeholder not involved in quality can impact the overall projects success.