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Megaproject Management: Lessons on Risk and Project Management from the Big Dig by Virginia A. Greiman

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Chapter 10

Quality Management

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.

—William A. Foster

Introduction

Writing a book on project management would not be complete without a serious focus on quality. As Aristotle (384 BC–322 BC) vividly described it, “Quality is not an act, it is a habit.” To take this one step further, in projects we should not focus just on controlling quality but, rather, on ensuring that quality is embedded in everything we do. Quality is not just processes and procedures but a vision that should be at the forefront of every project manager's mission.

This chapter focuses on the vision, strategy, organizational structure, and processes and procedures that encompass a superior quality management program. Most important are the ethical obligations of the project participants in assuring delivery of a quality product. The lessons from the Big Dig, both successes and failures, are described to assist future project managers in understanding not only what can go wrong, but what can go right. Quality management begins at the conceptual stage and continues through closure and the transition to operations. Quality must be carefully planned as part of the project's governance structure and must be continuously improved. Quality never ends because it forms the basis for the ultimate product that is delivered and must last as ...

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