7.4.4.1 Definition of quality criteria and

standards to achieve

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The objective of this step is to determine the quality required for the products of the project.

At  the outset , quality targets should be set for each Deliverable, which will be used to ensure that the deliverable produced by the Contractor meets the requirements defined by the Contracting Authority.

In this perspective quality targets can be defined by:

Describing the product/ service/ infrastructure in detail. A well organized, comprehensive description of the product/ service/ construction provides a blueprint to follow as well as a reference point, which you can compare with actual accomplishment
Stating the functional requirements of a product/infrastructure or by defining and if possible quantifying the characteristics that the product/ service/ infrastructure should possess in terms of:
Performance
Accuracy
Practicability
Security
Compatibility
Reliability
Maintainability
Expandability
Clarity
Cost
Implementation date, etc.
Considering and adopting any standards that are specific to the product/ service or infrastructure provided by the project. Industry wide standards exist for many products and services, e.g. for construction, for automotive, for health and safety as well as for aerospace, building code software, electrical/ electronics, government/ military, medical, petrochemicals, quality, telecommunications, welding & metals, etc.

 

Example 7-8: Quality targets for the purchasing of notebooks

Example 1: The Department of Information Technology Services (DITS) decides to purchase, 400 notebooks for various governmental departments and governmental services. In order to deliver notebooks that will satisfy the users needs, DITS has to set quality targets. In this perspective, some of the quality targets that could be set are:

 

 

RAM Technology

DDR SDRAM or DDR2 SDRAM and ECC

Screen type

TFT

Screen max resolution

1024 X 768

Graphic subsystem with max resolution

1024 X 768

Graphic subsystem with max number of colours

16 millions

Ethernet

Supporting 1000Mbps Ethernet

Wireless LAN

Supporting IEEE 802.11b/g

USB Port

At least 2 USB ports v.2.0

Keyboard

To be in compliance with standard ISO/IEC 15412 with permanent Greek / Latin characters

Weight

Max weight 3.0 Kg (including all devices)

Certifications

Compliant with Low Voltage Directive 73/23/EEC

Certifications

Compliant with Electromagnetic radiation Directive 89/336/EEC and 92/31/EC

Certifications

EPO Energy Star compliance

Certifications

IT ECO Declaration

 

Example 7-9: Quality targets for the “Preparation of Public Procurement Best Practice Guide”

Example 2: PPD decides to proceed with a tendering process in order to enter into a contract with a Consulting Company for the preparation of a Public Procurement Best Practice Guide.

Indicative “quality targets” that PPD should set for the Guide are:

The Guide should provide guidance for the effective application of best practices for the procurement of services, supplies and works.
The Guide should address the complete procurement process from the point of identification of needs, contract management up to and including the disposal of assets making special reference to the efficient use of procurement procedures.
The Guide should be practical and help to the standardisation and structuring of business documents so that certain routine steps in the purchasing process be automated
It should also provide model tender documents and model contracts for supplies, services and works in order to contribute to the establishment of more uniformity in the tendering environment
The Guide should address to all Cypriot Contracting Authorities regardless of their experience, effectiveness and the volume procured by them
The Guide should cover at the least the following topics:
oDefinition of needs/ requirements of the project
oMarket assessment
oPlan the procedure for establishing the procurement strategy
oEstablish the procurement strategy
oFormulation of requirements
oWriting specifications and preparation of Terms of Reference
oSelection of tenderers in the restricted, negotiated and competitive dialogue procedures and eligibility criteria in the open procedure
oEstablishing evaluation strategy
oDefinition of evaluation clauses
oEvaluating the tenders
oAward the contract
oProject and contract management
The Guide should be in alignment with the EC Directives on public procurement and the national laws that are transposing these directives, but it is not intended just to repeat them
The Best Practice Guide should be delivered both in hard copy format as well as in electronic format (CD ROM and Web based toolkit)
The Guide should be written in both English and Greek language.

It should be mentioned that in order for a Contracting Authority to deliver products, services or infrastructure that really satisfy its needs, apart from defining explicitly the quality targets, special care should be taken during the preparation of the Tender Documents to ask from the economic operators to describe in their proposal the Quality policy10 [ Quality policy is the “overall intentions and direction of an organization with regard to quality, as formally expressed by top management (International Organization for Standardization. ISO 8402 1994. Quality Management and Quality Assurance, Geneva, Switzerland: ISO Press). ] or the quality management system11 [ Quality Management system refers to the organization's structure for managing its processes - or activities - that transform inputs of resources into a product or service which meet the organization's objectives, such as satisfying the customer's quality requirements, complying to regulations, or meeting environmental objectives. ] that they possess as well as the quality Assurance processes that intend to apply if they are awarded the contract. In cases of public works projects, or projects for the provision of project management services the Contracting Authorities should also ask that the economic operators who participate in the tendering process must hold an ISO or equivalent standard certification.

If the Contractor possess a quality policy and a certain quality management system, these can be adopted unaltered for use during the project. However, if the Contractor lacks of a formal quality policy or quality management system, then he will need to develop a quality policy and processes for quality assurance, especially for the project.

Quality assurance activities focus on the processes being used to manage and deliver the solution and can be performed by the Project Manager or the Quality Manager of the Contractor or by an external project resource (e.g. quality auditors).

Types of techniques used by the Contractors to assure the quality of their deliverables include:

Skilled staff: Using skilled staff will directly affect the quality of the deliverables produced. Appropriately skilled staff should have the knowledge, skills and experience required to undertake the tasks defined in the Project Plan and achieve the level of quality desired
Peer Reviews: A peer review is a thorough review of a specific deliverable conducted by members of the Contractor’s Project Team who are day-to day peers of the individuals who produced the work. During the meetings the quality issues found are discussed and actions that have to be followed in order to correct the quality issues, prior to presenting the deliverable to the Contracting Authority, are being assigned to certain individuals. It is estimated that peer reviews can provide the Contracting Authority with confidence that the project is “on track” and likely produce a deliverable which meets its requirements. Therefore, it is in the discretion of the Contracting Authority to decide whether to ask the Contractor to submit the Peer Reviews Reports as an attachment to the respective Deliverable
Use of Templates: The use of templates provides guidance to the project team members and therefore ensures both improvement of productivity level and of quality
Checklists: Checklists capture and communicate the quality standards that must be met by the targeted activity. In this perspective they can be proved to be helpful for the project team members who participate at the execution of the specific activity
Small tasks: Breaking down activities into small and more manageable tasks except for ensuring better control provide also finer level of quality control. By establishing quality criteria for each task and verifying each task along the way, many more opportunities are being provided to detect quality discrepancies as early in the project as possible.

 


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