A Project is said to meet Quality expectations, when all the Project requirements, agreed in the beginning of the Project are met and also the resulting Product of the Project is usable. Usable means, the intended users of the Product can use the product without any problem.
The Project Manager is Responsible for Quality in a Project. However, it is the responsibility of each and everyone in the Project to ensure that whatever they do meets project quality expectations.
Also, it's important to note that the quality comes at a cost. The more efforts are put in ensuring Quality; the better is the resulting Product. But, one can't keep on investing in increasing Quality, as there is no limit to how better a product can be made. So, much to invest in quality is determined by knowing the optimal level of Quality.
Optimal level of Quality is supposed to be achieved when at the point where the incremental revenue from improvement equals the incremental cost to secure it.
Suppose you are the manufacturer of toys, but your toys are not good enough or in other words it's below quality and no-one buys them. To make them better or of higher quality, you start investing in really identifying what kids want, give some initial samples to kids and see how happy they are with the toys and incorporate those feedbacks in making better toys. Now, you start finding parents ready to buy these toys.
But suppose you invest too much to make the toys of the highest quality, the cost of the toys will also increase accordingly… and it might become prohibitive for parents to buy.
Optimal level of Quality is reached for this toy manufacturer at the point, where in they get maximum number of buyers for the toys manufactured.
Quality management aims to ensure that Project meets all the initial agreed requirements without any deviation. To ensure this, Quality Management involves doing activities like creating standard policy and procedures and also ensuring that those standard procedures are being followed properly in the project.
There are three broad activities that are done as part of Quality Management. They are Quality Planning, Quality Assurance and Quality Control.
Quality planning is the first step when Quality related Activities of the project are planned, Quality Assurance is the next stage of implementing those Quality Plans and Quality Control is the last stage, when periodic checks are done to see if Project Quality is improving or not.