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Quality and Assurance Management Tutorial

1 Quality and Assurance Management

Hello and welcome to lesson 13 of the Managing Successful Programmes Certification course offered by Simplilearn. In the previous lesson, we focussed on risk and issue management. In this lesson, we will discuss quality and assurance management. This is the last governance theme in the MSP® framework. It ensures that all the management aspects of a programme are working appropriately and that the programme stays on target to achieve its objective. Let us begin with the objectives of this lesson in the next screen.

2 Objectives

By the end of this lesson, you will be able to: ? Discuss quality and assurance management ? Describe the ways to test quality and programme management principles Let us move on to the next screen to discuss the MSP® framework.

3 MSP Framework

Quality and assurance management is a part of governance theme and is positioned in the middle circle of the MSP® framework. Quality and assurance management ensures that all the management aspects of a programme are working appropriately and that the programme stays on target to achieve its objectives. If a programme does not apply quality and assurance effectively to its management activities, then it is less likely to achieve its objectives and deliver the anticipated value and benefits. In the next screen, we will focus on quality and assurance.

4 Quality and Assurance

The following are some important information about quality and assurance: Let us begin with quality. Quality is defined as the totality of the features and inherent or assigned characteristics of a product, process or system, which shows that it meets expectations, requirements or specifications. Now we will discuss assurance. Assurance is the systematic set of actions necessary to provide confidence to the Senior Responsible Owner or SRO (read as S-R-O) and the stakeholders that the programme remains under control. It also assures that the programme is on track to deliver and it is aligned with the organisation’s strategic objectives. Quality and assurance management is an ongoing activity, which runs throughout the lifecycle of a programme, and the main aim of the process is to achieve the right level of quality.. In the next screen, we will discuss the differences in the quality and assurance management at the programme and project levels.

5 Differences at Programme Level and Project Level

The differences in the quality and assurance management at the programme level and the project level are as follows: In a programme, the focus is on the management, processes and alignment with the environment in which it exists. These may change during the life of the programme to reflect the organisation’s changing strategic priorities. Quality and assurance management in a programme must ensure that these corporate priorities are fully understood and that the programme’s blueprint and plans remain aligned with them. In a project, the management of quality is focused on ensuring that the outputs will meet the acceptance criteria and that they are fit for the purpose. For example, in a PRINCE2® project environment, the outputs need to meet the specifications as given in the product descriptions. Programme-level quality must ensure that the project-level quality is delivering the fit-for-purpose capabilities which enable the programme to deliver the outcomes and benefits. In the next screen, we will cover quality and programme management principles.

6 Quality and Programme Management Principles

Programme management principles describe the characteristics of a successful programme and act as the critical success factors. When planning for quality in the programme, the principles should be the main focus of the areas to be assured as they represent the factors that will determine whether the programme is successful or not. There are many ways that illustrate how the programme management principles can be tested to ensure that the programme is being delivered optimally. The first principle, ‘remaining aligned with corporate strategy’, can be tested by checking the validity of the vision statement, blueprint, business case and benefits realisation plan, having the right projects running and checking the currency of the governance strategies. The second principle, ‘leading change’, can be tested by reviewing the quality of the leadership and behaviour exhibited by the people in the programme, and the impact they have created on the stakeholders. The third principle, ‘envisioning and communicating a better future’, can be tested by the level of engagement that the programme is achieving, and the understanding of what the programme intends to deliver and also the benefits that should be realised. The fourth principle, ‘focusing on benefits and threats to them’, can be tested by checking that the benefits are a permanent item on the programme board agenda, all the benefits information are in place and up to date and the projects are clearly aligned with the benefits. The fifth principle, ‘adding value’, can be tested by assuring that the programme is justified in its current form. Changes in corporate portfolio may lead to more optimal delivery configurations than the ones which existed at the outset. Else, it may be the case that the programme has served its purpose and should now be closed. If a programme does not add any value to the group of projects, it is better that projects are not treated as programme. The sixth principle, ‘designing and delivering a coherent capability’, can be tested against the validity of blueprint, the ability of the projects to deliver the capability and the ability of the organisation to adopt it. The seventh principle, ‘learning from experience’, can be tested by how effectively reviews are done and how well the lessons from these and the previous changes are utilised. It can also be tested by the effect the reviews have on the programme and business performance metrics that are used to measure the internal effectiveness.

7 Summary

Let us summarise what we have learnt in this lesson: Quality and assurance management ensures that the programme stays on target to achieve its objectives. Quality is defined as the totality of the features and inherent or assigned characteristics of a product, process or system, which shows that it meets expectations, requirements or specifications. Assurance is the systematic set of actions necessary to provide confidence to the SRO and the stakeholders that the programme remains under control. The programme management principles can be tested by checking the validity of the vision statement and blueprint, and reviewing the quality of the leadership. Next, we will focus on the scope of quality in a programme.

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  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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