Project Quality vs Product Quality for PMP Exam

Project Quality vs Product Quality for PMP Exam

Quality is an crucial aspect for project success. Quality is both important for the deliverables (products) and the management of the project for the creation of the deliverables.

Project Quality vs Product Quality

  • Product Quality: product quality is the adherence/conformance of the product/deliverable of the project to the pre-defined requirements/standards.
    • Product Quality can be improved and guaranteed by quality control and quality assurance
      • Quality control: concerned with the activities and measures taken to achieve quality requirements
      • Quality assurance: a process based approach to ensure the processes and methodology associated with the production of the final deliverables/products are defect free
  • Project Quality: project quality is concerned about the management and implementation of the project processes to turn the project requirements into project deliverables
    • Project Quality is assessed by carrying audit on the project management practices (which is outside the scope of the PMBOK® Guide, somewhat performed by the role of Project Assurance in PRINCE2®)

Illustrated Example

Let’s take the project of exam study and preparation as an example to illustrate the concept of Project Quality and Product Quality. The Product of the exam preparation is of course getting the PMP Certificate.

By following closely the recommendations (e.g. exam prep courses, reference book, mock exams, study plans and advices from exam takers), an Aspirant is able to pass the exam in first try — both the Project Quality and Product Quality are considered high.

However, an Aspirant can get a quality product (i.e. passing the exam with flying colors) from the project of exam prep without having a good Project Quality (e.g. constantly delaying the plan, not following all the pre-defined processes and milestones, skipping some parts of the exam syllabus, etc.) — low Project Quality and high Product Quality.


To distinguish between Project Quality vs Product Quality, always remember the following definitions of these:

  • Product Quality is concerned about the conformance of the deliverables to pre-defined requirements and standards.
  • Project Quality is about the conformance of the management/execution of the project to pre-approved processes. Project Quality is not to be tested in the PMP Exam.
recommended PMP resourcesAdditional FREE PMP resources: 47+ Commonly Confused Term Pairs with detailed explanations. If you found this article useful, you may wish to reference other Commonly Confused Term articles.

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Edward Chung

Edward Chung aspires to become a full-stack web developer and project manager. In the quest to become a more competent professional, Edward studied for and passed the PMP Certification, ITIL v3 Foundation Certification, PMI-ACP Certification and Zend PHP Certification. Edward shares his certification experience and resources here in the hope of helping others who are pursuing these certification exams to achieve exam success.

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