Should project managers be responsible for doing some form of quality assurance on their projects?
Project assurance is one of the least appreciated parts of project management. Too often it is seen as a police-like activity, rather than something designed to improve the project.
In one of my PMO roles a few years ago, I established a quality management framework that allowed regular assessments of projects without impacting on the project managers. Although it worked well from a PMO perspective, the project managers felt excluded from the process and from the results.
As a result, I decided to ask the project managers to complete the same assessment form that I did and we then sat down and discussed the results. This led to a number of benefits I hadn’t expected, such as:
- I found that by being completely transparent with the project managers, they were more open to accepting the results and were more willing to engage with the deeper health checks
- It improved the overall relationship between the PMO and project managers - I think because they saw us as more approachable and willing to listen
- The PMO was approached on more than one occasion to help get a project or part of a project back on track before it became obvious that there was a problem, because we were trusted
- As the project managers were speaking positively about their interactions with us, the wider organisation took a greater, and more positive, interest in the wider programme of work and we had more positive stakeholder engagement
So to answer my question in the title, yes I do think project managers should be responsible for doing some form of quality assurance on their projects.