What Is a Quality Requirement?
A quality requirement refers to a condition or a capability that must be present in a requirement. They represent that which is needed to validate the successful completion of a project deliverable.
The easiest of quality requirements to capture are the express ones. Examples include ones written in the contract or charter and ones set forth by code or statute.
Implied quality requirements can be more elusive. Consider a custom web development project where the system is so slow that it’s rendered ineffective. There may be no express quality requirements concerning the size or compression of images; however, proper sizing and compression are required for efficient page loads. The implied quality requirement is that the page should function as expected. Break this down further and the quality requirement might dictate that all pages load in X amount of time. This implied quality requirement, now being verifiable, should be captured.
The template provided below is a quality requirements log. It’s a place to capture the quality requirements of a project. As such, it’s a project management document that would be used in planning quality.
Who Creates the Quality Requirements List?
The quality requirements list is created by the project manager with considerable input from stakeholders and members of the project team.
What Are the Inputs?
There are numerous inputs to creating a quality requirements log. Sometimes, quality requirements concern only the stakeholder expectations. In that case, the stakeholders themselves provide the input.
At other times, quality requirements arise from the need to conform to the law. For example, on a construction project, the building code will set forth the requirements a certified electrician must meet when terminating a circuit.
Inputs may also include the WBS dictionary and the risk register. Any source that might trigger express or implied notice of the level of quality required for a project deliverable or for project acceptance will be an input to developing the quality requirements log.
How Is It Used?
Before we can determine how to meet the quality requirements, we must know what they are. It’s here that the quality requirements log begins being useful. At the most basic level, it’s a tool used for capturing the identified requirements.
The free template below adds a little more functionality to the quality requirements list. It captures a detailed description of each attribute, the measurement method that should be used and the acceptable variance. This information is needed when planning quality assurance and performing quality control. In addition, the template below captures the source of the requirements and the date each one was identified or received. With this information at hand, our quality requirements log also serves as a traceability tool.
Once the list appears complete, the requirements should be analyzed. Some will be too vague to understand, some might be duplicates and some might conflict with others. Review the list for clarity, delete duplicates, detect omissions and resolve conflicts until the list of quality requirements provides clear and complete information.
After that, ensure each requirement is quantified. Each quality requirement should be decomposed to a level where it’s actionable, measurable and testable.