In our industries, QA - Quality Assurance- means providing the client with what you promised, whereas QC -Quality Control- means checking what you delivered.
Quality Management goes beyond checking designs or making remarks on drafts; it starts managing the processes that will create the product. Simply put, quality control is product-based and makes sure the product is flawless. Quality assurance is process-based and is all about following the industry’s best practices.
You’ll be surprised how many pros confuse these two terms.
Making sure that the project is fit for purpose starts on the initiation and planning stages, way before executing and controlling. It begins early but it continues throughout the project’s life cycle. As a PM, you need to be involved in this process to minimize mistakes and you must know how to:
- Understand the Client’s Vision
Sometimes, the key to success is not in how hard you work, it’s how well you can listen. Overall, one of the main tasks of a PM is effectively aligning the client’s vision with the team’s capacities. The vision is the articulation of your client’s future and its concept should create passion and meaning as a manifestation of this future it envisions.
- Know where you’re Heading
Build a work plan. Divide your whole project and define a set of smaller milestones your team can follow. A roadmap needs to be a simple, high-level overview of the projects and its deliverables. Keep it free of fluff; flesh out the details and never forget to state timetables and specifications.
- Define your Scope
It might sound silly, but this makes it or breaks it. Determine the project's needs and make sure that work –and only that work– gets done before the project. To do this, be consistent: gather requirements from every stakeholder, set everything in stone, and don’t gold plate your project
- Control your Budget
The budget is the gas that fuels the project. Every stakeholder must know it to a certain degree, but the PM must understand it. It’s impossible keeping track of something you don’t get, and most of the execution problems managers face are directly associated to inappropriate budgeting. Take what worked for past projects, learn from what didn’t, and build from it.
- Have a Kick-off Meeting
The kick-off meeting is all about understanding and agreement. Understanding the field rules, agreeing how internal and external stakeholders will work together, and when to deliver the milestones. For a studio, kick-off meetings are crucial as they are an opportunity to both get information and show knowledge and enthusiasm. Use them to instill confidence in your practice.
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