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Execute projects smoothly with a quality management plan checklist

Using a quality management plan helps you organize manufacturing projects so that they proceed in a set and approved manner, and you end up with a quality final product. Consider quality standards, assurance, and control when creating a quality plan

What is a quality management plan?

 

Quality management is an essential part of any project. Manufacturers and other businesses need to be able to ensure that their products are made to internal and external quality standards and are safe for consumers. That means drawing up a detailed quality management plan, so that quality assurance becomes a standardized process. 


A quality management plan:


  • Tells your workers how to evaluate product compliance
  • Keeps manufacturing errors from carrying over to final products
  • Allows you to set and stick to project deadlines


What should your quality management plan include?


Quality management plans describe every action you will take in order to meet your (or an outside regulatory) organization’s quality standards. To do this, a quality management strategy includes four key steps: 


  • Defining quality standards
  • Designing a quality assurance process
  • Creating quality control measures
  • Improving quality management plans through quality improvement


Defining quality standards


Product quality standards detail the characteristics of finished products; in other words, the desired outcome of a manufacturing process. To understand the criteria you need to meet, ask:


  • What are the customer’s quality expectations? 
  • What regulatory standards need to be met?
  • What are your internal quality standards?
  • Are there already product quality guidelines to follow?


You can more easily understand quality expectations by asking customers directly and by using reputable standards like ISO 9001 to guide you. Additionally, make sure to look up applicable industry regulations. 


Designing a quality assurance process


Quality assurance is the next step after defining what your standards are. It boils down to formally writing out the tools and processes you will use to implement said standards. Thorough quality assurance means ensuring: 


  • There is documentation for all regulatory requirements
  • That you specify and communicate customer requirements
  • There are checklists available to employees that describe compliant processes
  • Workers have the training necessary to execute those processes
  • Product specifications are clear to workers, either through examples of quality products, diagrams, or itemized lists of requirements
  • Workers have access to tools or equipment used in manufacturing, and these are well-maintained
  • Employees are aware of the parties responsible during each stage of production
  • Equipment used to measure quality metrics has been tested beforehand


Creating quality control measures


Where quality assurance is focused on ensuring that processes are clearly defined and easy to follow, quality control looks at finished products to ensure there are no defects before goods are shipped out. Both are vital elements of a quality management plan, since quality control essentially tells you whether your quality assurance measures were effective.


Quality control measures that strengthen your overall quality management strategy include:


  • Visually inspecting products for cracks, dents, or scratches
  • Ensuring there is no water damage to products
  • Checking products for dirt and debris 
  • Verifying that finished products are the correct size
  • Ensuring that product colors are correct and details (like iconography on buttons) are clear
  • Making sure products are the correct weight
  • Testing the product at least once to ensure it functions as intended
  • Ensuring product packaging is clean, undamaged, clear, and able to fit the product comfortably


Improving quality management plans through quality improvement


Quality improvement is where you weigh the expected results of your quality assurance processes with the actual observations you made during quality control to figure out where there were unexpected outcomes or failures in production.


From there, you’re able to go back and improve your quality management planning so that your quality management checklist produces compliant products every time. As an example, you might find that a number of products were damaged because some equipment was used improperly. In your revised quality management plan, you would indicate the correct way to use said equipment. 


The exact questions you ask during quality improvement vary based on the quality management issues you encounter in your business. What’s important is that you remember the focus is on process improvement, and not on individual employee performance.


Getting the most out of your quality management plan



When applying your quality management plan to manufacturing work, there are a few things you can do to make all the work involved easier to manage and increase the chance of positive results.


Delegate


Writing a good quality management plan involves everyone, and so should implementing it. Ensure tasks and roles are clearly broken down and assigned to appropriate team members. Use an employee’s skills and experience to find tasks they’re best suited for.


List all your materials


Make sure you know and have everything you need before starting production. Use a bill of materials template to list out which materials and equipment you need and when you’ll use them. The more information you give your workers, the fewer deviations will occur. 


Define approval criteria

 

Make sure you know what a properly finished product looks like, and share the criteria with your team. Use the quality standards you identified earlier in your quality management plan to establish these criteria, which should be as specific as possible.

 

Test periodically


To be as confident as possible in the quality of your products, regular testing is recommended. For example, inspecting each component before moving to the next allows you to identify problems earlier and to understand exactly where problems occur. Regularly testing allows you to examine functionality from every angle. 


Designing quality management plans with workflow automation software


Two workers in safety PPE on the job


A paper-based quality management plan is impractical for several reasons; it’s easy to lose, it’s difficult to make copies efficiently, and it’s impractical to carry around sheets of paper with you during work. Solve all of these problems by using workflow automation software like Lumiform to create your quality management plan. 


Lumiform offers you a combination of desktop and mobile applications that make it easy for you to design custom templates each time you start a manufacturing process. Use these quality management templates to make sure every component of your quality management plan is defined. 


You can easily share these quality checklists with others in your organization, as well as duplicate them with a single button press. Verify that your quality management plan is being followed by assigning its completion to responsible employees. 


Use Lumiform to develop project quality management plans and: 


  • Delegate responsibilities, set deadlines, and track performance from one centralized dashboard
  • Share results and progress reports with stakeholders at any time
  • Standardize the way tasks are completed, since everyone will be following one quality management document
  • Never worry about storage or damage to your files, since every template you make with Lumiform is saved to the cloud
  • Get automatically-generated reports which summarize and analyze the results of completed templates, and help you improve in the future



FAQ


What is a quality management plan?

A Quality Management Plan (QMP) is a comprehensive document that outlines the approach, processes, and procedures to ensure that a project or organization consistently delivers products or services that meet or exceed stakeholders’ expectations. It’s a foundational document in quality management, providing a roadmap for how quality will be managed throughout the lifecycle of a project or within an organization.

What are the key elements of a quality management plan checklist?

Key elements to specify on a quality management plan checklist include:

Quality Policy: A statement from senior management outlining the organization’s commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.
Quality Objectives: Specific, measurable goals that the project or organization aims to achieve in terms of quality.
Quality Assurance (QA) Processes: Procedures and activities designed to ensure that quality requirements are met throughout the project or organization. This includes activities like quality audits, reviews, and inspections.
Quality Control (QC) Processes: Activities and techniques used to monitor and verify that project deliverables meet specified quality standards. This involves processes such as testing, inspections, and measurements.
Quality Standards and Criteria: Any relevant industry standards, regulations, or criteria that the project or organization must adhere to.

What industries benefit from quality management plans?

Manufacturing: In manufacturing industries such as automotive, aerospace, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and consumer goods, maintaining consistent product quality is paramount to meet customer expectations, ensure safety, and comply with industry standards.
Construction: Construction projects require adherence to quality standards and regulations to ensure the safety, durability, and functionality of structures and infrastructure.
Healthcare: Quality Management is vital in healthcare settings to ensure patient safety, regulatory compliance, and the effectiveness of medical treatments and services.
Information Technology (IT): IT companies benefit from Quality Management Plans to ensure the reliability, security, and performance of software products, systems, and services.
Service Industries: Service-oriented industries such as hospitality, transportation, finance, and telecommunications rely on Quality Management Plans to deliver consistent and reliable services, meet customer expectations, and maintain competitiveness.
Food and Beverage: Food and beverage industries need stringent quality control measures to ensure the safety, hygiene, and consistency of food products, as well as compliance with food safety regulations.

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