Quality Planning – Enterprise Environmental factors

November 23, 2009

Several factors related to the environment of the enterprise where the project is being implemented have an impact of the quality management plan being drawn. These factors are specific to the organization and the context in which it does its business. For example, these would include things like governmental regulations that apply to the business area, products etc. Rules, standards and guidelines that apply to the application area also need to be considered. Working as well as operating conditions can have impacts on the way quality needs to be managed. These can directly affect the quality of the project/product under development. Plans must take into account the process assets of the organization as that represents the collective learning and the “way things are done” in the organization. Existing quality policies, procedures and guidelines have influences on the planning input. Historical data in this context also needs to be taken into account.

Factors in the Environment

Government regulations, rules, standards and guidelines that apply to the product/ project have to be met. As not meeting these can be a big risk. These include risks that can lead to unforeseen financial losses. Product liability issues can be examples of such situations. If a certain grade of paint or coloring is to be used in toys, for example, they have to be used without fail. The project team, particularly the team drawing up the quality management plans must be aware of the complete set of such regulations that apply. Organizational learning or the historical data can help in finding out all the applicable regulations and how they need to be met.

Quite often quality policies and procedures that exist are enough to cover the ground. Guidelines which detail the method of achieving a standard also are essential reading for the team to decide what’s relevant to the quality management plan. One such example could be a coding standard in language C, for a software project. While there could be several ways to write safe C code, an organization usually develops its own standard so that not too many options are allowed and hence chances to make mistakes are reduced.

Depending on the situation a specific quality policy may have to be developed to meet the needs of the project. An organization may not have a formal quality policy in place yet. The project may be a cross-organizational project where the quality policies are somewhat different and does not quite cover the needs of the project. A common policy would make sense.

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