You can visit Precision vs Accuracy to read about precision and accuracy before or after reading this post.
Quality is conformance to the requirements. It includes the product and the customer’s requirements.
PMI defines the Quality as “the degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfills the requirements.”
Grade can be defined as “the category assigned to products or services having the same functional use but different technical characteristics.”
Many people get confused with these two terms and assume that they are similar; however, they are not the same.
There is a big difference between the Quality and the Grade. A product can be a high grade (high-end) or a low grade (low-end). It is perfectly acceptable for a product to be a low grade as long as it fulfills its stated requirements.
On the other hand, a low quality product is always a problem. Every product must be of high quality regardless of its grade. A low quality product is never desired.
Let us say you buy a cheap, simple (basic model) low grade cell phone for your normal usage. It doesn’t have any advanced features, but it works. It never gives you any trouble, always works flawlessly and it is defect free — No problem at all.
In other words, you can say that the quality of this cell phone is very high. Although, it is a low grade product, it keeps you happy and satisfied.
Now let’s say again that you buy another costly (premium model) high grade cell phone. This cell phone has all advanced features; e.g. touch display, WI-FI, blue-tooth, photo camera, video camera, voice recognition and face recognition etc.
But what will happen when it doesn’t perform well? I mean,
- touch screen sticks while navigating
- photo and video quality is very poor
- voice and face recognition software doesn’t recognize you!
Obviously, you will be frustrated because; although, you bought a high grade (high-end) product, it does not perform as it should be. It means the quality of this cell phone is very poor and that is not acceptable.
A low grade is never a problem because when you buy a service or product, because you know that you are paying for a low-grade product or service and expect the performance as per its category. You never buy a low grade product and expect it to perform like a high grade.
However, a low quality is always a problem because it does not fulfill your expectation.
Please note that:
- low quality does not low grade
- low quality is not acceptable
- low grade is never a problem and it is acceptable
- a product or service, regardless of its grade must be of high quality.
I hope that now you would have a clear understanding about the differences between the Grade and Quality. This topic is important from a PMP Certification Exam point of view. You may see one or two questions from this topic in your PMP test.
Image Credit => digitalart