Establish and maintain the project’s quality and process performance objectives.
When establishing the project’s quality and process performance objectives, think about the processes that will be included in the project’s defined process and what the historical data indicate regarding their process performance. These considerations, along with others such as technical capability, will help in establishing realistic objectives for the project.
The project’s objectives for quality and process performance are established and negotiated at an appropriate level of detail (e.g., for individual product components, subprocesses, project teams) to permit an overall evaluation of the objectives and risks at the project level. As the project progresses, project objectives can be updated as the project’s actual performance becomes known and more predictable, and to reflect changing needs and priorities of relevant stakeholders.
Typical Work Products
- The project’s quality and process performance objectives
- Assessment of the risk of not achieving the project’s objectives
1. Review the organization's objectives for quality and process performance.
This review ensures that project members understand the broader business context in which the project operates. The project’s objectives for quality and process performance are developed in the context of these overarching organizational objectives.
2. Identify the quality and process performance needs and priorities of the customer, suppliers, end users, and other relevant stakeholders.
Typically, the identification of relevant stakeholders’ needs will begin early (e.g., during development of the statement of work). Needs are further elicited, analyzed, refined, prioritized, and balanced during requirements development.
3. Define and document measurable quality and process performance objectives for the project.
Defining and documenting objectives for the project involve the following:
- Incorporating appropriate organizational quality and process performance objectives
- Writing objectives that reflect the quality and process performance needs and priorities of the customer, end users, and other relevant stakeholders
- Determining how each objective will be achieved
- Reviewing the objectives to ensure they are sufficiently specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound
- Mean time between failures
- Number and severity of defects in the released product
- Critical resource utilization
- Number and severity of customer complaints concerning the provided service
- Cycle time
- Percentage of rework time
- Percentage of defects removed by product verification activities (perhaps by type of verification, such as peer reviews and testing)
- Defect escape rates
- Number and severity of defects found (or incidents reported) in first year following product delivery (or start of service)
- Maintain change request backlog size below a target value.
- Improve velocity in an Agile environment to a target value by a target date.
- Reduce idle time by x% by a target date.
- Maintain schedule slippage below a specified percent.
- Reduce the total lifecycle cost by a specified percent by a target date.
- Reduce defects in products delivered to the customer by 10% without affecting cost.
4. Derive interim objectives to monitor progress toward achieving the project’s objectives.
Interim objectives can be established for attributes of selected lifecycle phases, milestones, work products, and subprocesses.
Since process performance models characterize relationships among product and process attributes, these models can be used to help derive interim objectives that guide the project toward achieving its objectives.
5. Determine the risk of not achieving the project’s quality and process performance objectives.
The risk is a function of the established objectives, the product architecture, the project’s defined process, availability of needed knowledge and skills, etc. Process performance baselines and models can be used to evaluate the likelihood of achieving a set of objectives and provide guidance in negotiating objectives and commitments. The assessment of risk can involve various project stakeholders and can be conducted as part of the conflict resolution described in the next subpractice.
6. Resolve conflicts among the project’s quality and process performance objectives (e.g., if one objective cannot be achieved without compromising another).
Process performance models can help to identify conflicts and help to ensure that the resolution of conflicts does not introduce new conflicts or risks. Resolving conflicts involves the following activities:
- Setting relative priorities for objectives
- Considering alternative objectives in light of long-term business strategies as well as short-term needs
- Involving the customer, end users, senior management, project management, and other relevant stakeholders in tradeoff decisions
- Revising objectives as necessary to reflect results of conflict resolution
7. Establish traceability to the project’s quality and process performance objectives from their sources.
- The organization’s quality and process performance objectives
- The customer’s quality and process performance objectives
- Business objectives
- Discussions with customers and potential customers
- Market surveys
- Product Architecture
8. Define and negotiate quality and process performance objectives for suppliers.
9. Revise the project’s quality and process performance objectives as necessary.