Being the basis of products / services with high quality level, Quality Planning (QP) is an essential part of
, and it is the alpha of planning a new project, product or service. Quality plan defines the goals and objectives,
which are necessary to be reached in order to fulfil customer expectations, furthermore it contains the methods, steps and activities for reaching the defined goals.
Up-front quality planning has a very high impact on the whole quality management, as it lays down the ground for proper
and quality control
in later phases of
During the development phase of a product / project life cycle, quality planning focuses on the future, by analyzing and determining the following fields:
- Customer requirements and expectations >> input from clients.
- Planning and setting of quality objectives and concept >> to meet customer expectations.
- Planning and validation of product characteristics >> to reach a robust design (characteristics / attributes / functionality, etc.).
- Planning and validation of product realization processes and control methods >> to reach high-level manufacturability (manufacturing processes / measurement, testing, verification and monitoring during
- Usage of Lessons Learned (LL) and R&D know-how.
All elements of quality planning affect the whole product life cycle, having high emphasis on risk elimination and failure prevention
(e.g. error proofing
A general and true belief is to be wrong on paper is much cheaper, than being wrong in realization. It means, that the cost of quality is much less if we detect and eliminate
risks and failures during the design phase, and not in the serial production phase.
Proper quality planning needs money, but it is worth it, and returns fast on the mid-term. None would be in the shoes of a quality director, who has to decide about a 100
million USD recall, because of a design issue, that was caused by incorrect quality planning (which would have detected and eliminated the failure, if they had spent one million USD more on validation and
But money is only one aspect of doing business. The prestige of making quality products is priceless. Quality planning activities are aiming to prevent failures during the serial
production phase, and to reach the defined quality objectives and goals, thus to increase customer satisfaction.
Various methods and tools have been developed so far, which support quality planning activities. These methods help you to achieve your goals related to quality:
- APQP (Advanced Product Quality Planning) >> a complete tool-set for quality planning.
- QFD (Quality Function Deployment) >> to translate customer requirements to quality characteristics and features.
- DFMEA (Design - Failure mode and effects analysis) >> assessment of design risks.
- PFMEA (Process - Failure mode and effects analysis) >> assessment of process risks.
- System FMEA >> assessment of risk risen from system faults.
- FTA (Fault Tree Analysis) >> for design and process optimization.
… and many more, that are not enlisted here.
These methods are widely used in various business fields, especially in the automotive industry (some of these methods are required and must be used).