Starting a project aimed at addressing a specific problem is the first step towards improving the overall performance of the organization (Kerzner, 2014). A project, however, needs to comply with a set of specific standards, which concern determining goals, objectives, criteria and expected outcomes.
Although the research conducted by Wan and Zeng (2013) has several minor problems in the scope of their research, it still can be viewed as a rather legitimate analysis of the problem and a feasible project, as it contains a detailed study of the subject matter and a very thorough outline of the actions to be taken.
The case study in question has been performed rather skillfully, the selection thereof being based on the visibility and accessibility of the site to be analyzed in the process. The specified approach can be deemed as rather reasonable, seeing that the concept of quality management improvement is rather hard to quantify.
However, the author also assigned selection criteria to a range of factors, marking them as “low,” such as the product quality, and as “high,” e.g., the phase removal rate (Wan & Zeng, 2013, p. 161). Therefore, it can be assumed that the project selection criteria have been chosen after careful elaboration and, thus, reflect the problem in the specified domain and point at the necessity to locate available solutions.
Split into six key phases, i.e., conception, planning, development, validation and release, the initiation process has been carried out rather adequately in the case study under analysis. Although the authors do not identify the phases mentioned above at the very start of the case study, Wan and Zeng (2013) mark them as essential to the evaluation of the overall project success at a certain point of their study.
As a result, the authors allow assuming that customer satisfaction is the key objective of the study and that the quality management process needs to be improved first for the company to attain its major objectives: “This paper applies customer complaint handling to reflect customer satisfaction of W company after implementing the improvement program of the quality management of new product development project” (Wan & Zeng, 2013, p. 161). Thus, Wan and Zeng (2013) create a very convincing prioritization system for the project to be developed in.
As far as the initiation and planning of the project is concerned, the fact that the authors of the paper never define the scope of their project deserves to be mentioned. On the one hand, omission of the above-mentioned element of the project analysis can be justified by the fact that Wan and Zeng consider only one form; thus, the scope of the project in question is automatically reduced to the analysis of the W Company.
On the other hand, for the project to be represented and analyzed properly, one has to spell out the key details, including the scope. By omitting the characteristics in question, Wan and Zeng make their project more vulnerable and considerably less stable. Likewise, the lack of control over the financial resources, which the project under analysis displays, is a major dent in the overall design of the study.
Although Wan and Zeng (2013) should be credited for focusing on the control issues and, therefore, developing a very strong system of project supervision, the lack of stress on the financial concerns also makes the case quite feeble. The essential stakeholders, on the other hand, are identified rather precisely, as the authors mention the connection between the latter and quality measurement as one of the crucial constructs of the study: “external quality assurance provided for customers and other stakeholders” (Wan & Zeng, 2013, p. 154).
The set of steps outlining the implementation of quality promotion designed for addressing the issues of the company can be defined as the basis for the project planning process (Burford, 2012).
Despite the obvious problems with the scope of the project, the authors perform the tasks related to scheduling quite successfully. Particularly, Wan and Zeng (2013). Apart from locating the tasks to be performed and getting their priorities straight, the authors of the study also create a grid, in which the key steps to be taken.
Specifically, the stages of the project implementation, such as the development of the quality plan, the promotion of quality assurance based on regular checks, and the control of quality, need to be listed (Wan & Zeng, 2013, p. 154). By identifying the inputs, the methods and skills required for improving the quality of the product, and the potential outcomes related to the quality improvements, Wan and Zeng make the concept of their project quite feasible.
Although the project under analysis has several rather significant vulnerabilities caused by omission of certain project management elements, the overall structure and methods employed for addressing the quality issue faced by the company are rather strong. By working on the problem concerning the limitations and the scope of the project, the authors of the study will be able to improve the company’s quality standards significantly.
Burford, L. D. (2012). Project management for flat organizations: cost effective steps to achieving successful results. Plantation, Florida: J. Ross Publishing.
Kerzner, H. R. (2014). Project management 2.0. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.
Wan, J. & Zeng, M. (2013). Case study on improving quality management of W Company’s new product development project. Technology and Investment, 4(3), 153-163.