If you are an entrepreneur/small business owner getting an app/product/service to market then you are managing a project. Are you wanting to ensure that was you deliver is the best quality possible?
Quality management is one of those icky topics in project management as it is hard to quantify. It’s hard to quantify because quality means different things to different people along with the value people put on quality. In some cases the desired level of quality is a given, ie a bridge needs to meet the civil engineering standards of the country in where the bridge is located. In the fashion industry the desired level of quality isn’t consistent as it doesn’t have to meet any given standard. Just do a Facebook search to see the clothes people ordered online that didn’t meet up to the pictures from and the quality of the goods that the seller was happy too sell. Some epic fails there!
If you are getting an app/product/service to market and you are managing it as a project (if you want a heads up on what a project is click here), then quality management can be a key driver within your project. The other two key drivers are time management and cost management. One of these three key drivers are the primary driver of your project, ie one of the three is more important than the other two.
There are two ways quality management can be applied (or combined), the first is the desired level of quality in how a project is run and the second is that the quality of the app/product/service. The former is used on projects with significant investment and big companies executing the project have a quality framework in place to ensure they execute projects in a consistent manner, and build their reputation for delivering quality projects. The latter means the cost of your project could be high as you do product research and development (R&D), or your project timeline is lengthy as you do your product R&D.
For the purpose of this blog post we will focus on the quality of the actual app/product/service. Project quality management may layer in more work that as a solo entrepreneur or small business owner you don’t need.
So how do you determine what the quality is of your product? Hopefully you will have done market research to see if your app/product/service is viable in the marketplace and whether people want what you offer. From there hopefully you will have an idea of what it is people want to pay which will help you determine the quality of your product so you meet customers expectations, sustain your reputation as a quality business and still make a profit.
Based on your market research you will need to weigh up the following with getting your app/product/service to market:
- Do I need to get out there before anyone else does or do I need to take advantage of a particular time of the year? If this is the case, then time is a key driver for your project and you may wish to get your app/product/service to market quickly with enough capability to get people talking. From there you can then improve the quality with new versions or service offerings (and you want people coming back for more!).
- Is there a health and safety aspect of what you are offering that needs attention? If this is the case, either cost or time could be the key driver of your project as you ensure that your product is safe and quality is not compromised.
- What are other people doing in a similar space to me? What can I do to make sure I am seen as a better quality offering than my competitors? Again this could be cost or time driven as you shine up your offering so you are automatically the ‘go-to’ product or person.
The quality of your app/product/service always needs to be a consideration as you get yourself to market. Quality will need to be taken in into consideration when you do your project management plan, when you develop your project timelines and your project costs The desired quality of your app/product/service also needs to be communicated clearly to your suppliers, contractors and staff so they are clear on your vision and why the quality of your app/product/service is important to you.
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