Quality Management Knowledge Area

Quality Management Knowledge Area


Project Quality Management is the 5th knowledge area within the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).  It contains the knowledge and processes required to ensure the highest quality products and deliverables are produced by the project.  Although the highest quality should always be a goal, the highest grade is not necessarily so.

  • Quality:The degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfill requirements.
  • Grade:The performance specification to which a product is produced.

For example, a particular child’s toy might be high grade (many features, etc.), but if the parts break easily the quality could be unacceptable.

There are three process in quality management knowledge area:

  1. Plan quality management
  2. Perform or manage quality
  3. Control quality.

The Plan Quality Management process focuses on taking all of the information available to you at the beginning of your project and figuring out how you will measure your quality and prevent defects.

Question comes here is what are the inputs to plan quality management process

Here is the list of it.

  1. Project management plan
  2. Requirement document
  3. Stake holder register
  4. Risk register
  5. Organizational process asset.
  6. Enterprise environmental factor

The Control Quality process is all about inspecting work products to find defects. Control Quality is in the Monitoring and Controlling process group. Like Control Scope and Control Costs, you look at the work Performance information that is coming from your project and compare it to your plan. If there are problems, you recommend a change. That way, you can either fix the problem or make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

Inputs to Control Quality process:

  1. Project Management plan
  2. Quality checklists
  3. Deliverables
  4. Work performance data
  5. Qulity matrix
  6. Organizational process assets
  7. Aproved change request
  8. Project document


Control charts are a way of visualizing how processes are doing over time. Let’s say that the button on each Black Box needs to be between 7.5 and 9.5 millimeters tall, and the chart above represents sample height measurements of boxes being made. We want the boxes to all be between 7.5mm and 9.5mm. The lower control limit of the chart is 7.5mm, and the upper control limit is 9.5mm. The chart above shows control limits as dashed lines. The mean is the solid line in the middle, and it shows the average height of all of the buttons in the sample. By looking at the chart above, you can see that there are a lot of buttons that were taller than 9.5mm manufactured and only one that was shorter than 7.5mm. When a data point falls outside of the control limits, we say that data point is out of control, and when this happens we say that the entire process is out of control. It’s pretty normal to have your data fluctuate from sample to sample. But when seven data points in a row fall on one side of the mean, that’s an uncommon enough occurrence that it means your process might have a problem. So when you see this, you need to look into it and try to figure out what’s going on. That’s called the rule of seven, and you’ll definitely see questions about it on the PMP exam.

Pareto charts, flowcharts, and histograms

Pareto charts help you to figure out which problems need your attention right away. They’re based on the idea that a large number of problems are caused by a small number of causes. In fact, that’s called the 80/20 rule—80% of the defects are usually caused by 20% of the causes. Pareto charts plot out the frequency of defects and sort them in descending order.

Flowcharts let you show how processes work visually. You can use a flowchart to show how the tasks in your project interrelate and what they depend on. They are also good for showing decision-making processes.

The flowchart helps you to see how all of the phases relate to each other. Sometimes the way you are working is responsible for defects in your product. Flowcharts help you get a handle on the way you are working by showing you a picture of the whole process.


Histograms give you a good idea of how your data breaks down. If you heard that your product had 158 defects, you might think that they were all critical. So looking at a chart like the one above would help you to get some perspective on the data. A lot of the bugs are low priority. It

Looks like only 28 or so are critical. Histograms are great for helping you to compare   characteristics of data and make more informed decisions.

Some time thinking about how you will make sure you are doing the work efficiently and with as

few defects as possible. The Perform Quality Assurance process is about tracking the way you work and improving it all of the time.

In the Perform Quality Assurance process, you take all of the outputs from Plan Quality Management and Control Quality and look at them to see if you can find ways to improve

your process. If you find improvements, you recommend changes to your process and your individual project plan to implement them.