Quality Management Process


Project Workflow Management


by Dan Epstein

New York, USA


Note: This article is based on the book Project Workflow Management: A Business Process Approach by Dan Epstein and Rich Maltzman, published by J Ross Publishing in 2014. The book describes PM Workflow® framework, the step-by-step workflow guiding approach using project management methods, practical techniques, examples, tools, templates, checklists and tips, teaching readers the detailed and necessary knowledge required to manage project “hands-on” from scratch, instructing what to do, when to do and how to do it up to delivering the completed and tested product or service to your client.

The project workflow framework is the result of Dan’s research into the subject, having the following objectives:

  1. Create the virtually error-free project management environment to ensure significant reduction of project costs
  2. Reduce demands for highly qualified project managers using the step-by-step workflow guiding approach.

While PM Workflow® is the continuous multi-threaded process, where all PM processes are integrated together, this article will attempt to describe the resource management group of processes as a stand-alone group that can be used independently outside of PM Workflow® framework. It will be difficult in this article not to venture into processes outside of the current subject, such as planning, quality, communications and other management processes, so they will be just mentioned. However, to get full benefit and the error free project management environment, the complete implementation of PM Workflow® is required. In order to understand how PM Workflow® ensures this environment, I strongly recommend reading my article Project Workflow Framework – An Error Free Project Management Environment. in the PMI affiliated projectmanagement.com (https://www.projectmanagement.com/articles/330037/Project-Workflow-Framework–An-Error-Free-Project-Management-Environment)

For more information, please visit my website www.pm-workflow.com


The Quality Management process is a set of planned and executed project activities to ensure that all project deliverables conform to the documented and agreed-upon requirements, and meet documented stakeholder expectations.

Quality Management controls all PM processes described in this book and ensures the project has the required quality. The main vehicle to achieve that target is the quality audits and reviews which are planned and executed. All non-compliance issues found in reviews must be resolved by the project team or escalated to senior management in those cases when local resolution is not possible. If several different departments or organizations are involved in the project, the set of Quality Management processes must be recognized and implemented on the enterprise-wide level. It has already been mentioned in the Requirements Frame section that quality is conformance to the documented and approved requirements and specifications and, therefore, it is not the same as the ‘perfect’ performance that the client and business users would like to have. Quality is not a part of any project variable, unlike cost, time and resources. Quality can never be compromised and it cannot be changed under any circumstances. If the project duration, budget or resources are not realistic to implement all business requirements, then some requirements should be dropped or changed to reflect the new situation as mutually agreed with the business. This newly defined set of requirements will become a new quality standard of the project. Still, all deliverables must be produced with the agreed quality– no less and no more.

No quality variations may ever exist in the deliverable, since the documented quality is either there or it is not there. Therefore, it is not possible to exceed the deliverable quality expectations, because that would mean that the product has the unplanned, unbudgeted elements of scope and does not conform to agreed specifications. The project may be ahead of or behind the schedule, the cost may be below or above the budget, but it is impossible to have it of a better or lesser quality.

Quality Management of a project means building and implementing plans to meet the documented quality expectations of clients and stakeholders. The planning effort contains two major groups of processes:

  1. Quality Assurance or QA (processes P2-1-1 through P2-1-7)
  2. Quality Control or QC (processes P2-2-1 through P2-2-7)

There is major difference between QA and QC. QA focuses on environment in which deliverables are created and the guiding processes. In fact, the key distinguishing aspect of QA is that it is all about process.  QC, on the other hand, focuses on the inspection of deliverables and defects removal to ensure they are complete and satisfy the stated quality. QA and QC terms cannot be used interchangeably.

Quality Management activities start at the beginning of the Requirements Frame and end after the project is delivered to client at the end of the Closing Frame.

Quality Assurance (QA)

The purpose of Quality Assurance is to build quality into deliverables from day one of the project, rather than to inspect finished products. QA is all about project processes.  The major vehicle of QA activities is the QA audit. The QA audit will judge the quality of the future deliverables based on the quality of the processes used for their creation. QA Audits are conducted by QA Representatives with active participation of Project Managers and their teams. Auditors do not have to know your project well, but they must be trained to ensure project compliance with processes such as Requirements Management, Risk Management, the Scope Change Control, Project Tracking and all other applicable processes, which build the quality into the project. Even if a project is on schedule and within the budget, poor results of QA audits will credibly predict a troubled project in near future, unless quality gaps are quickly eliminated.

Usually, when senior managers receive project documentation for sign off, they cannot rely on their first-hand knowledge of project details, but rather they sign off based on indirect circumstantial evidence of quality. If, let us say, the senior business managers are required to sign off on the Business Requirements Document, they will probably attempt to verify with the leading client that the following is true:


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Editor’s note: This series of articles is based on the book Project Workflow Management: A Business Process Approach by Dan Epstein and Rich Maltzman, published by J Ross Publishing in 2014. The book describes the PM Workflow® framework, a step-by-step approach using project management methods, practical techniques, examples, tools, templates, checklists and tips.  The book teaches readers how to manage a project “hands-on” from scratch, including what to do, when and how to do it up to delivering a completed and tested product or service to a client.

How to cite this paper: Epstein, D. (2019).  Quality Management Process, Series on Project Workflow Management, PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue II (February). Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/pmwj79-Feb2019-Epstein-quality-management-process-workflow-series-article.pdf


About the Author

Dan Epstein

New York, USA




Dan Epstein combines over 25 years of experience in the project management field and the best practices area, working for several major Canadian and U.S. corporations, as well as 4 years teaching university students project management and several software engineering subjects. He received a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the LITMO University in Leningrad (today St. Petersburg, Russia), was certified as a Professional Engineer in 1983 by the Canadian Association of Professional Engineers – Ontario, and earned a master’s certificate in project management from George Washington University in 2000 and the Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI®) in 2001.

Throughout his career, Dan managed multiple complex interdependent projects and programs, traveling extensively worldwide. He possesses multi-industry business analysis, process reengineering, best practices, professional training development and technical background in a wide array of technologies. In 2004 Dan was a keynote speaker and educator at the PMI-sponsored International Project Management Symposium in Central Asia. He published several articles and gave published interviews on several occasions. In the summer of 2008 he published “Methodology for Project Managers Education” in a university journal. His book, Project Workflow Management – The Business Process Approach, written in cooperation with Rich Maltzman, was published in 2014 by J. Ross Publishing.

Dan first started development of the Project Management Workflow in 2003, and it was used in a project management training course. Later this early version of the methodology was used for teaching project management classes at universities in the 2003–2005 school years. Later on, working in the best practices area, the author entertained the idea of presenting project management as a single multithreaded business workflow. In 2007–2008 the idea was further refined when teaching the project management class at a university.

Dan is an author of many publications in professional magazines, speaker at the international presentations, a guest at podcasts, etc. The Project Management Institute’s (PMI) assessment of his book says: “Contains a holistic learning environment so that after finishing the book and assignments, new project managers or students will possess enough knowledge to confidently manage small to medium projects”. The full list of his publications and appearances can be found at the website www.pm-workflow.com in the Publications tab.

Dan can be contacted at [email protected].

To see other works by Dan Epstein, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/dan-epstein/