Quality Control vs Verify Scope

In the PMBOK Guide, fifth edition, the validate scope process has replaced the verify scope process; therefore, this post is obsolete. Please refer to my new blog post on quality control and validate scope.

The quality control and verify scope processes are important for a project as they ensure that the deliverable is defect free and meets the user’s requirements.

Since both processes involve inspection and testing many professionals get confused and think that they are the same.  They have different objectives and are carried out with a different goal in mind.

Quality Control

In the quality control process, you inspect the deliverable for correctness and see if it meets specifications.

Quality control activities are performed throughout the monitoring and controlling phase by the team members. This ensures that the product is defect free and all parameters are within acceptable limits.

There are many tools and techniques to use during this process, including: inspection, cause and effect diagram, control chart, run chart, scatter diagram, etc.

Example

Now let us look at a real-world example of the control quality process.

You were appointed as a project manager for a government contract for the building of a 1,000 km road. In your team, you have a quality control engineer to monitor the quality activities.

This quality control engineer will be on site to inspect and recommend changes to the deliverable if required so that it conforms to the stated requirements. He will check if all the materials supplied are of the required quality, e.g., coal tar, the stones are crushed properly, the ground level is correct, or if the sidewalk is properly aligned, etc.

Verify Scope

In this process, you will inspect the deliverable with the client to see if it meets all requirements and is acceptable.

The verify scope process is carried out during the monitoring and controlling phase of the project.

Both processes have only one similarity: they are performed during the monitoring and controlling phase of the project. However, the objective of the verify scope process is to get formal acceptance from the client on the deliverable.

Example

Now we will look at the verify scope activities using the same example discussed above.

You have built 100 km of the required 1,000 km of road and it is ready for delivery. You invite the authorities to come and inspect and formally accept it.

The government representatives arrive and verify whether or not you meet all the requirements. They check some criteria, e.g., if the road width is correct, the road leveling is okay, and the length of the completed part of the road.

Once they are satisfied, they will formally accept the completed part of the road and you get paid.

Please note that it is not always necessary to perform the verify scope process at the end of every project. It can happen far before the project ends. You can also perform the verify scope activities with the quality control process, as is seen in the example above.

In the given example, both processes are being performed in parallel. The government’s representatives are verifying the scope for the completed part of the road with you, and at the same time, your team is building and testing the rest of the road.

Differences Between Quality Control and Verify Scope

The differences between the quality control and verify scope processes are as follows:

  • Quality control deals with the quality of the product while the verify scope process deals with the scope of the product.
  • Quality control activities are performed internally, while the verify scope process is performed with the client.
  • Quality control activities are performed during project execution while the verify scope process is usually performed at the end of the project or phase.
  • The objective of the quality control process is to produce a defect-free product, while the purpose of the verify scope process is to get the deliverable accepted by the client.

Conclusion

Both the control quality and verify scope processes are important for a project. The quality control process helps to create a defect-free and high-quality product. The verify scope process helps to get the product accepted by the client. Quality control activities are performed throughout the monitoring and controlling phase and verify scope activities are needed when the deliverable is ready to be delivered.

There is another process called quality assurance which is often mistaken for quality control. Please visit: Quality Assurance and Quality Control to learn more about it. 

How are quality control and verify scope activities performed in your project? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.