Saturday, October 27, 2018

Control Quality versus Validate Scope

The verification process comes before the validation process. In the verification process, you inspect the deliverable for its completeness and correctness. Here you will check that the product is built the correct way. Verification is an internal process performed by quality control staff (i.e. Application Service Owner Team Member) to make sure that the product meets all stated requirements, specifications and complies with regulations.
Verification is about building the product correctly.
The validation process comes after the verification process, and it checks if the product meets customers’ and other stakeholders’ needs or not. Here you will analyze whether the product performs its intended use as it was envisaged. The validation process does not involve the project management team. Most of the time, this process involves the project manager, customers, and other stakeholders.
Validation is about building the right product.
Example
Suppose you plan to build a new demanding product. You design and develop it. Before launching the product you check that whether it was developed as per the design or not and if it is developed the right way or not. If the answers to these questions are yes, this means you have verified the product.
Now, you have launched the product to the market. Your product has gotten good responses from customers, and good sales were generated as you have expected.
This means that the product is validated because it has satisfied its users’ needs and expectations.
Now let’s discuss the control quality and validate scope process in detail.
The control quality and validate scope processes may seem to be the same, because both processes involve the inspection and review of deliverable; however, they are not the same. The purposes of these two processes are different, and both processes are performed in a different manner.

Control Quality

The control quality process is performed internally to ensure that deliverable are defect free, complete, and fulfill all stated requirements. Quality control activities are undertaken by the quality control people during the project execution.
According to the PMBOK Guide 6th edition, “Control Quality is the process of monitoring and recording results of executing the quality management activities in order to assess performance and ensure the project outputs are complete, correct, and meet customer expectations.”
This means that in the control quality process, you will see the specifications of deliverable and tally them with the designed specifications. If you find any deviation from the design specifications, you will recommend a corrective action.
In the control quality process, you inspect the deliverable for its correctness and whether it meets all its quality requirements specified in the contract.
Example
Suppose you obtain a contract to build 200 km road. You start working on it, and appoint a quality control engineer to monitor the quality of work. This quality control engineer will be available all the time on-site. He will check the quality of deliverable at each stage; e.g. the quality of raw materials, level of the road, slope on turn, alignment of the footpaths, etc.
The above example shows quality control activities.

Validate Scope

The validate scope process is performed by the project manager with the client after the deliverable or the product is completed. The purpose of this process is to ensure that the client accepts the product formally.
According to the PMBOK Guide, 6th edition, “Validate Scope is the process of formalizing acceptance of the completed project deliverable.”
In the quality control process you verify the deliverable, and once the quality control department passes the deliverable, you validate it with the client.
Example
Let’s continue with the example given for the control quality process.
You have completed 50 km out of 200 km of the road. You invite the client to come and inspect the completed part of the road so that they can formally accept it, and you get the payment.
The client comes and sees if all of his requirements have been met or not. The client will check whether the width of the road is correct, the footpath is properly aligned, and whether the length of the road is correct or not. After inspecting these parameters, the client may also check the strength of the road.
Once the client is satisfied, he signs the acceptance letter, the road is formally accepted, and you get paid for the completed part of the work.
This process is called the validate scope.
Please note, it is not necessary that the validate scope process be performed at the end of the project. This process can be performed before the project ends; moreover, this can also happen with the control quality process, as we can see in the above given example.
In the example, although the client has validated the scope and accepted the 50 km of road, you are still working to build the rest of the road.

Similarities between Control Quality and Validate Scope

The following are a few similarities between the control quality and validate scope processes:
  • Both processes belong to the monitor and control process group.
  • Both processes involve inspection and review of deliverable.
The similarities end here. Now let’s see the differences between these two processes.

Differences between Control Quality and Validate Scope

The following are a few differences between the control quality and validate scope processes:
  • Control quality is performed internally by the project manager with the quality management team, while validate scope is performed by the client with the project manager.
  • Control quality checks whether the product is produced in the right way, and validate scope is concerned with producing the right product.
  • The control quality process is performed to ensure that product is ready to be delivered while validate scope process gets the formal acceptance from the client after delivering the product.
  • Control quality is usually performed during the project execution, and validate scope is performed at the end of the phase or project.
  • The objective of the control quality process is to make sure the product is defect free, and fulfills all its requirements. On the other hand, the purpose of the validate scope process is to get formal acceptance of the product from the client.

Summary

For many people, control quality and validate scope are the same; however, they are quite different. Although they involve the inspection of deliverable, their purpose is different. The control quality process helps you build the correct product in the first place, and the validate scope process helps you get the formal acceptance from the client that he has accepted the deliverable or the product. These two processes complement each other and help deliver a good quality product.
As a project manager, you must understand the difference between these two processes and manage them accordingly for your project to conclude successfully.

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