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PMP Basic Quality Management Tools

Quality Management Tools

There are seven fundamental quality management tools used in project quality management, understanding of which is vital for the PMP Certification Exam. A description of these quality tools is mentioned below:

Cause and effect diagram

Also called “fishbone” diagram (since it appears like a fish) or “Ishikawa” diagram (person who founded it). It is one of the most popular quality tools. It is used to determine the root cause of a defect, error, or problem. The issue report is the effect and the likely influencing reasons are the causes. For example, an integration test of a system could fail due to:

•    Incorrect coding
•    Unsuitable environment
•    Inexperienced coder
•    Inadequate bandwidth
•    Improper test script

Each cause can be evaluated further for a more detailed cause-and-effect diagram. 
Flowcharts: It can assist to establish the association between the process stages. This information can be used for process improvement, and to identify the source where errors or problems may occur. Flowcharts are also useful for documentation of processes.

Check sheets

Can be employed for ensuring that certain necessary actions are taken constantly. Check sheets can also assist for organizing data of a quality issue. For example, frequency of a particular cause is the basis of a defect, and this information is used to create a histogram or Pareto chart for prioritization of quality problems.

Pareto diagrams

These are vertical bar charts for creation of a graphic demonstration of outcomes (types of defects or causes of defects) in a descendent arrangement. The aim is problems ranking based on the occurrence frequency, to establish the resolution sequence of the problems.


Histogram is also one of the popular quality management tools. It is a vertical bar chart, as in the Pareto diagram. However, the vertical bars are not plotted by frequency. The vertical bars display the distribution of an occurrence. For example, the shape of calls distribution received by a center. It indicates the range of results called dispersion, and also the mean or median.

Control charts

Used to establish if a process is predictable and steady. The process planned value is represented by the center line . Normally, in manufacturing processes, +/–3 standard deviations are used, which are the upper and lower control limits for the manufacturing team. The upper and lower specification limits are those limits which are indicated in the agreement or contract by the sponsor. If a measurement is near to the control limit, the project manager should take corrective action so that it is near the center line. PMBOK defines as under:

•    Control chart. A graphic display of process data plotted over time and against established control limits. It has a center line that facilitates detection of a trend of plotted values, compared with upper and lower control limits.
•    Control limits. The area comprised of three standard deviations on either side of the mean or center line, of a normal distribution that indicates the desired data variation.

Specification limits. The area on either side of the mean, of data on a control chart that meets the requirements of the customer for a service or product. 

Although control charts were originally used for monitoring of repetitive and manufacturing processes, they can also be effectively used for tracking of defects, schedule and cost variance, or any other project activity. These control charts are extremely useful in Earned Value Management, which is a project tool to identify cost and schedule variances.

Scatter diagrams

It is a matrix that displays the plotting of two variables, to establish existence of any relationship. For example, weekly working hours and the errors noticed during this period. A correlation may exist to indicate increase in defects with increase in the working hours. Consequently, after analysis, corrective or preventive actions may be taken.

These quality tools help improve business processes as well as the product, which in turn help you satisfy the customers by delivering products that meets his expectations.

Brainstorming Meaning - Brainstorming Benefits

What is Brainstorming meaning? Well, Brainstorming focuses on a relaxed and natural style to problem solving by the use of lateral thinking. Brainstorming techniques inspires individuals to generate ideas, which may even initially appear abnormal, but later may be shaped into innovative solutions. Brainstorming tools can assist people to apply their minds during the brainstorming session. During the brainstorm sessions, disapproval or approving opinions should not be encouraged. Attempt to open up options and break down inaccurate suppositions about the problem. At this stage, conclusion and evaluation prevents generation of ideas and reduces innovation. Assessment of concepts should occur at end of brainstorm session, when solution evaluation occurs.

Benefits of Brainstorming

Traditional group problem solving techniques may often not be appropriate due to unsupportive conduct of group. Though it is essential to initiate an organized, methodical process for problem solving, this may create partial and unimaginative thoughts. However, brainstorming offers an environment that stimulate everybody to contribute. Abnormal ideas are accepted for further discussion and elaboration, without any criticism and the brainstorm members are inspired to participate for fostering productive solutions.

Brainstorm can also assist team buy-in for the selected solution, as they will be more dedicated to an approach if they were engaged in its development. Furthermore, since brainstorming involves excitement, it aids bonding of the team members, as they positively resolve challenges, in an entertaining background.

Though brainstorming may be valuable, it is essential to conduct it with a non-judgment attitude, otherwise unhealthy criticism may affect the team relationships. There are different brainstorming techniques available for generation of creative ideas through brainstorming activities. 

Individual Brainstorming

Whereas group brainstorm sessions are often more helpful to generate solutions compared to routine group problem solving, numerous surveys have disclosed that brainstorming by individuals creates better ideas than in a group brainstorm session. This may occur since groups do not always strictly follow brainstorming rules, and unhealthy activities affect achievement of brainstorming goals. While you brainstorm yourself, there is no fear regarding the opinions of other people, and thus the environment is more creative. You may appreciate a solution for which you may have hesitation to discuss with other people, for which self-brainstorming is more valuable. However, development of ideas by self-brainstorming may not totally possible due to lack of experience, knowledge, and experience for which group brainstorming may be more useful.

Brainstorming by Group

Collaborative brainstorming has the benefit of the complete knowledge, experience, and creativity of all participants. Brainstorming exercises in group involve more concentration compared to brainstorming by individuals. Another advantage is the sense of participation of group members in the development of solution. Brainstorming by group is more entertaining, involving team building and fun. Use of brainstorming software may be helpful.
I hope now you know complete brainstorming meaning and its benefits. 

CAPM vs PMP - The Difference and Qualifying Criteria

CAPM vs PMP - What's the Difference?

CAPM and PMP both are renowned certification on project management, developed by Project Management Institute (PMI) USA. Both are acknowledged worldwide and help you get a good job. Read on and find out difference of CAPM vs PMP and what's the qualifying criteria for both of the certifications.

What is CAPM

CAPM or Certified Associate Project Management is a certification of PMI for entry level. During start of career in project management, it is appropriate. It will assist to differentiate you from your contestants. It is truly a fundamental path of project management. Professionals attend CAPM courses online or classroom CAPM certification training courses, to meet CAPM requirements, and appear in CAPM testing center. CAPM certification classes are conducted at all major cities. CAPM will develop effectiveness and reliability while functioning as a member project team. A combination of MBA CAPM will be significantly useful to improve the career profile, and enhance job opportunities.

What is PMP

PMP certification is a program offered by Project Management Institute PMI. PMP certification can be obtained after 35 hours of PMP training, and subsequently appearing in the PMP exam. PMP certification is an acknowledged certification designed for project managers.  Becoming a PMP enables to function with any industry or methodology. PMP training includes a wide range of techniques necessary for project management, and skills that are essential to execute projects, and manage the project team. PMP certification is managed by PMI Project Management Institute in the USA, and has acquired recognition in Asia and Europe.

One major difference between the two certifications is the eligibility requirements. To become certified as a CAPM, individuals must have a secondary degree and at least 1,500 hours of experience working on a project team. To become certified as a PMP, individuals must have a bachelor's degree and at least 4,500 hours of experience leading and directing projects.

Another difference between the two certifications is the cost. The CAPM certification is generally less expensive than the PMP certification, as the PMP certification is considered to be more advanced and in-depth. Additionally, the PMP certification requires individuals to complete ongoing continuing education to maintain their certification, while the CAPM certification does not have any ongoing education requirements.


In conclusion, both CAPM and PMP certifications offer professionals the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in project management. However, the key differences between the two certifications should be considered before making a decision. The CAPM certification is a great starting point for individuals who are new to the field, while the PMP certification is designed for experienced project managers who want to demonstrate their advanced skills and expertise.

Best Tips: Meeting Project Deadline In Projects

Why Project Deadline Is Important?

Meeting work deadline is essential for the successful project completion. Each project that is successful, delivers revenue to the company, and assists the achievement of its strategic objectives. If the organizations desire to grow, and remain in competition, the project management team must be efficient at meeting work deadline, and appreciate that project delays cost project increase in organization. Suitable, cautious project development will make sure that deadlines will be met, and the cost baseline is maintained. The product quality and meeting work deadline will contribute in building organization reputation, and brand loyalty.

Guidelines For Meeting Project Deadline

Following guidelines may be useful for meeting work deadline:

Establish A Realistic Deadline

Generally, meeting project deadline is difficult when it is created without proper project planning. It is essential to acquire project and work details by evaluating scope, trends, deliverables, and other necessary aspects that may affect the deadlines. Unless you completely appreciate the project, accurate schedule forecasting will not be possible. Do not concur to any deadline, if you are not totally satisfied regarding its timely completion. Implementing employee opinion surveys for the establishment of a realistic deadline may be useful.

Commit Within Limit

Commitments that are beyond the capability are likely to produce delays. Only to make an impression on the customers, project managers may agree to the deadlines that are not within their ability. Unrealistic limits cause customer discontentment, and differences among the project team.

Create Project Work Breakdown Structure

Breakdown the projects into smaller control points, for management of schedule, cost, and other aspects of the projects. With the breaking of project into minor groups, it becomes simple to accurately monitor and control the project. Creation of a responsibility organization matrix will also assist to successfully complete the project goals.

Time Management Skills

Possessing time management proficiency is critical in successfully meeting work deadline. Be honest regarding meeting work deadline, and manage the work accordingly. Prioritization of tasks will assist to meet the schedule baseline.

Allocate Work Suitably

In a project team, real or virtual, proper work assignment, according to the skills and capabilities, is essential to ensure meeting work deadline. Every work package should be assigned to an individual, or a team, who are accountable to meet the deadlines.

Distribute the Deadlines to Project Team

Creation and distribution of project plan to all concerned, with deadlines, is important.

Make Check List

Making of check list of deadlines will assist in meeting work deadline. There is valuable software that may be employed for building work check list. The checklist may include project goals in order, with starting date, ending date and a update project status.

Proceed Gradually

In order to finish the project earlier than the schedule, project managers are often inclined to drive the team to attain the project deliverables as rapidly as possible. Unnecessary compelling the team may cause disaster. Always progress gradually if you are eager on meeting work deadline.

Monitoring And Control

Monitoring the project work intelligently is important for ensuring the achievement of project deadline. Use of suitable software like Primavera p6 will assist for the process automation.  You can produce the organogram, where periodic reports can be generated for evaluating project status.

Contingency Reserve

Project managers must anticipate the unforeseen in project work. However, even accurate planning may not be able to foresee all issues that may occur in future, Therefore, maintaining a contingency reserve is crucial for meeting work deadline.

Meeting Project Deadline For Project Success

Implementation of these recommendations will certainly assist you to be creative by meeting work deadline. Take the time limits easily that will assist in building the brand loyalty,  and ensuring success in the projects.

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