Saturday, March 29, 2008

Other Tools of Quality Control

Other Tools used in Quality Control includes:
  • Scatter Diagram
    Tracks 2 variables to see if they are related.

  • Run Chart
    Look at history and see a parttern of variation.

  • Histogram
    Helps identify the cause of problem in a process by the shape and width of the distribution.

  • Cause and Effect Diagram

  • Flow Chart

  • Statistical Sampling
    This involves choosing part of a population of interest for inspection.
    Often reduce the cost of quality control.

  • Inspection
    Determine whether it conforms to the standards.

What is a Pareto Diagram

A Pareto diagram/chart helps focus attention on the most critical issues.

It prioritises potential "causes" of the problems.

It is referred to as 80/20 rule that 80% of problems or defects are most often due to 20% of the causes.

Tools of Quality Control - Control Charts

Control Charts are graphs used to analyse and communicate the variability of a process (or project activity) over time.

The components include the process mean the Upper Control Limit (UCL) and the Lower Control Limit (LCL).

Data points within this range are generally though of as "In Control".

Introducing Quality Control

Quality Control is the process of monitoring project work result to:
  • determine if they comply with relevant quality standards.
  • identify ways to eliminate causes of unacceptable performance.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

PMP Definition of Quality Audit

A quality Audit is an independent evaluation, inspection or review of a project's quality assurance system to improve quality performance of a project

The audits can take place at scheduled or random intervals.

The result of a quality audit (eg lesson learned) are important for the current project as well as for later projects or other parts of the organisation.

What is Quality Assurance in PMP

Quality Assurance:
  • looks at whether standard and procedure that are being followed.
  • begins in the initiating and planning processes and continues throughout the project.
  • is iterative and may be adapted based on the identification and resolution of quality problems over the project life cycle.

The actualy quality assurance process varies with the needs of each project.

Friday, March 14, 2008

What is the Best Practice in Creating a Quality Plan

The best practice when creating a quality plan includes:
  • Review the organization's quality policy.
  • Determine how your project team will implement the policy.
  • Review the product description to identiy customer/stakeholder quality requirements.
  • Determine the cost of quality trade-offs.

What is Flowchart

Flowchart shows the sequence of events and flow of inputs and outputs. It also shows the elements between a process or system.

It gets a definite beginning and end along with decision points clearly called out. This can be done with the actions to take based on the result of each decision.

Cause and Effect Diagram

Cause and Effect Diagram is also called an Ishikawa or Fishbone diagram. It identifies and analyse potential causes of probems in a process or system. Furthermore, it helps to organizes potential causes of problems into defined categories.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Free Project Management Tricks and Tools from RMC

I was searching for more tips and tricks on the passing of PMP and found that there are some very good resources from RMC on Project Management Tricks and Tools. I have extracted some information below for reference:

Free Tricks and Tools

RMC regularly publishes short, easy-to-read project management tips and tricks. From time to time we also post our PowerPoint slides from some of our more popular presentations. These documents are designed to help you improve your project management knowledge, provide you with Tricks of the Trade® from around the world, and enhance your ability to use your project management skills in the workplace.

These documents are absolutely FREE, and each is published in a downloadable PDF format. If you would like access to these tips, tricks and presentations, you must become a member of the RMC site.

The Free Tricks of the Trade® Library Currently Includes:
  • New! White Paper: The Organizational Benefits of Project Management
  • Free Tips for Passing the PMP® Exam (as advertised in PM Network®)
  • What Makes a PM Successful? Part I
  • What Makes a PM Successful? Part II
  • Tricks for Working With Virtual Teams
  • Tricks of the Trade - Project Manager's Role With Contracts
  • Tricks for Determining Customer Requirements
  • Tricks for Involving End Users
  • Tricks for Improving Team Performance
  • Tricks for Understanding Professional and Social Responsibility
  • Tricks for Communicating With Management
  • Nine Things Your Boss Should Be Doing
  • Sample Project Charter
  • How to Handle Unrealistic Schedules
  • 18 Reasons Why Projects Fail
  • Tricks for Selecting Vendors
  • Tricks for Becoming a Better Project Manager
  • The Benefits of Project Management
  • Tricks for Doing Planning Faster
  • Tips for the Worried Test Taker
  • Tricks for Overcoming Negativity
  • Tricks for Dealing with Anger in Project Management
  • Tricks for Maximizing Your Relationship with Your Boss
  • Two Methods to Calculate the Forward and Backward Passes in a Network Diagram
  • Tricks for Schedule Development
  • Tricks for Proactively Managing Stakeholders
  • Tricks for Proving Your Worth
  • Tricks for Avoiding Risk Stumbling Blocks
  • Tricks for Solving Common Project Problems
  • What Do Project Managers Wish Was Different in Their Companies?
  • Why Only Wimpy Project Managers Hold Status Meetings
  • Tricks for Clearly Defining Roles on Projects
  • Is Your Lack of Risk Management Knowledge Hurting You?
  • How to Use the Risk Book to Help You Pass the PMP® Exam
  • Handout from 9-23-04 PMI 20th Anniversary Celebration
  • Top Five Risk Errors That Can Ruin Your Career (PMI Global Congress 10-2004)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Design of Experiments (DOE)

Design of Experiment (DOE) is:
  • a technique to systematically identify varying levels of independent variables.

It determines:

  • which variable has the greatest effect.
  • what is the relationship between each variable and the quality specifications (with customer focused).
  • What is the best value for each variable, ensuring optimal quality or value.

Benchmarking in Quality Planning

Benchmarking is a tool used in Quality Planning. It
  • Addresses the evaluation of a group's business or project practices
    - in comparison to those of other groups.

  • Identify best practics
    - in order to meet them

What is Cost Benefit Analysis in PMP

Cost Benefit Analysis is a process of determing the pros and cons of any process, product or activity.


  • Completing quality work increases productivity.


  • Completing quality work may cost more monies than the work is worth.

Gold Plating (or Extra Work)

  • The customer does not need or want more than what was required.

What is the advantage of using Cost Benefit Analysis in Quality Planning?

When work is completed correctly the first time, as expected, the project does not have to spend additional fjunds to redo the work.

What are the Major Tools used for Quality Planning

For Quality Planning, the following 5 tools are commonly used:
  • Cost Benefit Analysis
  • Cost of Quality (COQ)
  • Benchmarking
  • Design of Experiment
  • Additional Tools for Quality Planning

Definition of Quality Planning

Quality planning is the process of ensuring a project will satisfy the needs for which it was undertaken.

How to perform Quality Planning?

A project manager should perform quality planning regularly and concurrently with other planning processes to adjust for cost or time factors.

Total Quality Management in PMP

Total Quality Management (TQM) is:
  • an approach to create customer satifaction by empowering workers.
  • on going process rather than a one-time event (ie continuous improvement).

Continuous Improvement is small improvements in products or processes to reduce costs and ensure consistency of performance of product of products or service.

Fitness for Use - The product or service is capable of being used.

Fitness for Purpose - The product or service will meet its intended purpose. No gold plating.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Tips and tricks in getting my PMP (useful for CAPM too!)

I was reading the lesson learned section in the PMHub Forum and found a very good article by elceem on the tips and tricks in getting PMP. I have extracted the iformation below:

Tips & Tricks in getting your PMP
  1. treat this as a project: today is your start day and decide a target finish date
  2. become a member of PMI – its is cheaper this way (read FAQ)
  3. register on line and get your approval to write PMP exam within 3 days (read FAQ)
  4. call your exam center and get an exam day
  5. get hold of a PMP mock test and record down your score on each knowledge area (try PMHUB Question Bank in PMHUB Forums)
  6. record your weak “knowledge area”
  7. check the literatures to read for PMP (check FAQ) and its review in PMHUB
  8. Read the PMBOK last, study other materials first: JIMBOK & Eric's Lunch Time Lecture at
  9. Use the PDF version of PMBOK and do your searches there 9b) use a SEARCH engine on the web, do not be lazy - get your own answer - no pain no gain
  10. important to know your own effective study style (do not just follow somebody’s advice to memorize ITTO)
  11. go through the exam exercises as much as you can, use the PMP/CPAPM Daily Tips
  12. study all the PMIism and for the exam's sake try to believe in them
  13. visit the exam center several days before the exam, get familiar with the area
  14. get a good rest 2-3 days before the exam
  15. during the exam: stay calm and after 10 minutes or so you will get your rhythm
  16. always choose the best answer for all the possible right answer, eliminate those that are wrong

Your exam dogma: PMIism

- Gold plating is a sin

- PM skills is transferable to any industry, you do not need industry-related skills

- Confrontation is the best way in conflict resolution

- PM is the most important job in the world


- PM is proactive

- Scope, roles and responsibilities need to be clearly defined

Original link:

Recommended Books on PMP

Suggested Study Materials

  • PMP-Preparation Recommended Books
  • PMP Exam Prep, Fifth Edition: Rita's Course in a Book for Passing the PMP Exam
  • A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, Third Edition (PMBOK Guides)
  • The PMP Exam: How to Pass On Your First Try (Test Prep series)