What is quality management and control?


Quality is the fitness for purpose or the degree of conformance of the outputs of a process or the process itself to requirements.

Quality control consists of inspection, measurement and testing to verify that the project outputs meet acceptance criteria defined during quality planning. It is focused on preventing problems being passed on to the internal or external customer.

Quality planning takes the defined scope and specifies the acceptance criteria used to validate that the outputs are fit for purpose to the sponsor. It is focused on the specific outputs of a project to enable quality control during deployment.

Definition from APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition  📖

Test plans

For quality control to be effective, configuration control of specifications and test plans is vital. As part of quality planning test plans will have been agreed and include:

  • Sample size of tests, for example the whole item or a percentage chosen at random.
  • Test protocols, including resources required – people, equipment – third-party expertise or facilities.
  • Independent performance or witnessing of tests, by a regulator or process owner from business-as-usual.

In all quality control activities, decisions need to be made about the degree of conformance of the output tested to the specification and acceptance criteria, and what action to take in the event of non-conformance.

Projects deliver a huge variety of outputs and are consequently subject to many forms of quality control depending on the technical nature of the work and the particular requirements of individual industries.

The project professional agrees the quality control regime for the project drawing on input from relevant technical experts rather than by reference to generic processes.

Diagram: Elements of Quality Control from Starting Out in Project Management, 3rd edition. Copyright APM

APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition

You can learn more about quality control in chapter four of the APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition.

The APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition is a foundational resource providing the concepts, functions and activities that make up professional project management. It reflects the developing profession, recognising project-based working at all levels, and across all sectors for influencers, decision makers, project professionals and their teams.

The seventh edition continues in the spirit of previous editions, collaborating with the project community to create a foundation for the successful delivery of projects, programmes and portfolios.

APM Body of Knowledge

Planning, Scheduling, Monitoring and Control

Planning, Scheduling, Monitoring and Control

 View in bookshop

Introduction to Project Control

Introduction to Project Control

 View in bookshop

Planning for quality is planning for success   BLOG   

Once the project requirements are understood, quality planning ensures that they will be met. This requires a suite of measures to:

  • Confirm the proposed solution will meet the requirements
  • Ensure that the solution suppliers both can and will meet the standards of workmanship needed on time
  • Confirm that work done meets acceptance requirements at the earliest opportunity reasonable
  • Check that non-functional requirements are being met, not just functional requirements

Read full blog

The role of quality in delivering successful projects    BLOG  
Quality in project management needs to be better understood. At its most basic, quality is about fitness for purpose: does a product, or project output, meet the stated requirement? ... read more

Managing quality in the project supply chain    BLOG  

Almost all projects involve a supply chain, and the cultural, commercial and geographic gaps between members of the supply chain can lead to catastrophic quality issues, both intentional and unintentional ... read more

APM Planning, Monitoring and Control (SIG)

The generic area of operation is project control, focusing on the techniques and processes listed as well as interfaces to other subject areas, e.g. risk, governance, programme and portfolio management.

View SIG

Could you be a project manager?

A good place to start is to visit our careers section; this provides you with the tools and resources to begin your project management journey.

APM Careers

Join APM

Sign up to the APM Newsletter.