5 Useful Project Management Tools That Boost Quality Levels

5 Useful Project Management Tools That Boost Quality Levels
January 22, 2013 seouser

When it comes to project management, quality objectives should always be top of mind. After all, without having a clear strategy for quality management, projects are far less able to get the results you want. No matter what industry you may be in, or what project you are about to kick off, your primary mission is to cut out potential issues and get things underway smoothly. Luckily, there are a number of handy tools that can be used to make sure that your projects run more effectively.

Handy Quality Management Tools for Your Projects

In addition to any quality management software that you are (hopefully) already using, there are quite a few useful tools that will help you with your projects – both small and large. Let’s take a look at these tools, and show you how they assist in achieving a better level of quality.

  1. Checklists – as a case in point, since piloting a medical checklist across selected hospitals, the World Health Organization’s Surgical Safety Checklist reduced the number of deaths by almost 50%. These are also used in aircraft cockpits before planes prepare to take off. For projects, checklists help you keep track of each step as it is carried out, making it much easier to keep things organised.
  2. Histograms – these handy charts record numerical info, which could be anything from the number of employees who are trained on a certain new system, number of customer complaints each month, number of resource hours on problem solving or any other data or trends you want to track. For projects, these charts help to display data visually, so that key stakeholders can easily understand the data right away.
  3. Pareto Charts – from the man who developed the 80/20 rule, these charts show data sets in the order of size. The Pareto Principle states that 80% of effects result from 20% of the cause. In projects, you will be able to see which elements or variables have the biggest impact. This helps you to assess project quality deliverables, track the causes of customer complaints or identify any other potential gaps in performance.
  4. Flow Charts – using paper, markers and sticky notes, flow charts help you to map out processes for your projects. By understanding the steps of each process, you can spot quality management gaps more easily this way. As a visual mapping system, this also works well across project teams and stakeholders.
  5. Scatter Diagrams – these diagrams show cause and effect. If you have loads of info and need to compare variables, scatter diagrams are your new best friend. Track how focus groups rate certain products to see how customers think, and track other deliverables to compare against the data you have against customer feedback for instance.

These are just some tools that will help with both project management and your quality goals. In addition to other highly useful tools such as document control software or a full quality management system, this enables you to get the most from each and every project, time and time again.