Management in Practice

Beyond the alphabet soup of PRINCE2, MSP, MoP, PMBOK, ITIL, Agile

The peril of quality lapses


Having a week off between jobs has given me the chance to spend a bit more time looking at the world in general. One news that particularly came to my attention is the case of a simple spelling mistake that has caused plenty of red faces for the Republican US Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.

This story shows all the hallmarks of leaving a developer to produce an application while little or no effort was given to ensuring the output was of a quality that would achieve the desired outcomes – rallying supporters. This is not something that will necessarily define Romney’s campaign to become the President. Neither did Romney make the mistake personally. His mistake was to hire staffers that were sloppy. In the days of spell checkers it is not a mistake that should get this far. Mistakes do happen, some more visible and embarrassing than others. On a week he has sealed the Republican nomination, he would have been looking to go after Barack Obama’s record as president. Instead, his staffers are left cleaning up after this gaffe.

The result of missing or ignoring some basic quality assurance measures can have significant adverse outcome. While this one was limited to some red faces, other instances can have severe consequences. Never assume quality is under control or someone else will ensure it. As project management professionals, it is our role to define acceptable quality criteria for the project outputs and set out processes that will achieve those.

Then again there are the likes of Kim Kardashians of this world who revel in adverse publicity … for her the quality criteria may be to ensure a big talking point!

Image Credit: CNN

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