3 Quality Management Terms You Need to Know
By Fahad Usmani, PMP, PMI-RMP Project Management
Within project and production management, professionals have used a certain language to describe the quality maintenance of projects. But not all understand the difference between common terms and that has a significant impact on quality management. Here are the top three terms you should understand:
Corrective action is a reactive process that seeks to correct an issue or problem. As a manager you’ll take steps to mitigate or prevent the issue from occurring in the future. Suppose you’re in the execution phase of a project and during the quality inspection a team member discovers a defect in the deliverable. You’ll likely implement a workaround to correct the defect, but you should also take steps to eliminate the root cause of the error. Your stakeholders want an immediate fix, but they also want to know future issues are thwarted.
Preventive action is a proactive set of steps taken to avoid anticipated defects to or deviation from deliverables. In the planning phase of a project you might discover that following a certain procedure outlined in the project plan increases the potential for defects. To avoid this, changes are made to decrease the possibility of error.
Defect repair is the correction you perform. This is the straightforward repair or the replacement of a defective part. For example, during a project’s quality inspection you discover a defective component. You inspect the item to determine if it can be repaired or if it should be replaced.
Understanding the differences of these key quality management elements helps you more clearly communicate the status of your project with team members. When you know and document these terms accurately in your project plan, you’ll all be on the same page.
Fahad Usmani, PMP, PMI-RMP is a blogger on Project Management topics. He writes on his blog at to help professionals with PMP Certification Exam Preparation.
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