project management, quality, independent observers

Project Quality Monitoring Services (PQM).

Suivi Qualité version française
Project Quality Monitoring english version


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The experience has shown that complex projects need to devote resources to a permanent monitoring of the project quality components, during all the phases. It is best done by outside reviewers, neutral and independent. Click here for a short summary (opens in a new window).

Why is it necessary?

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If all the tasks are done well and defined during the early days of the project, why should the Project Manager need an outside focus on quality?

In nearly all sectors one proceeds in a continuously changing environment. New challenges come along during the course of the project, people change jobs, partners are added or leave the project, or the initial specifications or estimates were not realistic enough.

The boat must keep heading towards the shore, while taking into account the changing weather, sea conditions and hidden hazards. The captain must rely on a compass onboard but also on an observer from the harbour.

Another reason is the cost of failures. In the current economic environment, one cannot afford financial risks due to poor quality. 
Very often, Quality Management consists of a small part of the project team’s allocated worktime, which often faces the risk of erosion.

Finally, the methodology is an excellent answer to the current emphasis on impact, visibility of actions taken, in practically all domains: voters want to see the evidence of results achieved by actions taken by politicians, stakeholders expect results, workers want to understand the impact of measures taken by management, etc...

What is the PQM methodology?

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It is a systemic discipline helping project managers:

  • to assign critical success factors (CSF’s);
  • to agree on KPI's (key performance indicators) of those CSF’s;
  • to agree on measurement methodologies;
  • to agree on the effective measurement tasks;
  • to continuously assess the project, and build contingency plans or risk mitigation actions.

The rest of the actions towards a thorough Quality Plan flows naturally from this CSF discipline (such as the deliverable quality, the review calendar, etc...).

The experience has shown that it is best performed by outside independent project observers who will provide a neutral, professional view to the project, adding the discipline of a systemic approach.

The benefits

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Quality Project Monitoring:

  • Delivers a record of progress against agreed KPI's (key performance indicators) and targets;
  • Provides an independent look by a neutral party, treating all parties equally with no vested interest, and ensuring a constant outside presence; 
  • Is a top down, systemic approach, bringing standards and objectivity to the whole process;


  • Can question initial specifications and estimates at the outset;
  • Gives an opportunity to consult with an outside party on areas of confidentiality before making decisions;
  • Provides material on the quality of a project for the funding authority both internal and external.
  • Adds very high value due to its leverage for a small share of project cost.


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The approach is aimed more at “development “ projects rather than at “production” projects, where the quality focus is well covered by traditional concepts. Having said this PQM does work with both. A large part of development projects is comprised of exploration of unknown grounds, hence a need for special attention.
The methodology fits well with transnational projects involving different partners with a variety of cultural and technical backgrounds.


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The PQM team will help the project manager, and the partners associated in the project, to design and execute a thorough Project Quality Plan. It is recommended to involve the PQM team as early as project design time.
It will interact with the stakeholders to achieve success for the project and will provide constructive and objective recommendations during all phases of the project.


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The PQM team will particularly focus on the:

  • risk analysis: identify and categorise all potential internal and external risks to the successful delivery of the project. Suggest mechanisms for risk mitigation and if needed, propose contingency;
  • understanding of the critical success factors of the project components;
  • assistance in defining the key performance indicators, and their measurement;
  • sharing of common standards (communication, definitions, data, industry specific standards...);
  • initial project assumptions: needs analysis, requirements and specifications;
  • understanding of the project partners expectations;
  • establishment of the Quality monitoring process, and the presence of a Quality Plan in all work packages;
  • dissemination of a Project Quality discipline, involving also the subcontractors if any;
  • set up of periodic reviews, featuring a review of the potential impact of strategic decisions taken during the course of the project, and in case of major discrepancies, a root cause analysis ;
  • validation process (tests, feedback, KPI's measurements) and the conformity control;
  • review of all deliverables (Quality control activities will be focused on the deliverables, while Quality assurance activities will look at the process used to create the deliverable), including the financial aspects;
  • demonstration of the feasibility.

The actual features of the consulting engagement will vary, depending on the nature of the project; it can be tailored to customer focus and needs. For instance it can be used as a preliminary feasibility study.

Quality plan for deliverables: the 6 C’sproject, quality, management, monitoring, deliverables review

 A complete process for deliverable review is put in place. 

– Complete: accurate representation of the work, SWOT analysis;
– Clear: easy to understand, well structured and focused, translation readiness if necessary;
– Concise: focused on the essential topics;
– Consistent: with the other parts, in terms of vocabulary, definitions, concepts, standards;
– Correct: without mistakes or omissions; 
– Credible: workable output, involving sufficient testing, and covering the initial objectives.


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The services are provided by a network of International Consultants, all with a considerable experience in Project Management, Project Evaluation, Project Auditing, in various industries.
They are totally independent and will provide a neutral, professional view to your project, adding value, precision, and safeguarding the project against potential problems.

Where is it applicable?

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It is applicable to a large variety of projects, such as:

- Government funded projects (national, regional or international projects such as project funded by the EU, the World Bank, the UN), and where the discipline of the partners is of utmost importance for the success;
- Change Management projects: new work or institutional organization with an impact on human resources, or on a population;
- Major sectorial projects, such as construction and transport projects;
- Projects in the service industry;
- Launching a new product or service;
- Investment projects;
- Environmental projects;
- Development Cooperation projects;
- Disaster Management projects;
- Political projects, such as political reforms, with an impact on the citizens;
- Research projects;
- Complex IT projects.

How to proceed? Ask for quotation

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Send an email to or a message via SKYPE (address: newmindskype) with a description of your project, and we will start to work on a price quotation.


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Project A

Leonardo Project (UK): the PQM team helped to identify the critical element of the project (5 countries involved), being in this particular case, the rythm of interviews the partners were committed to undertake. They had to be delivered within a given timeframe. Hence the establishment of control points, via the PQM team, focusing on the interviews, the content, the difficulties. This lateral vision, from the quality experts, helped the project to keep its commitments. 

Project B

Federal government (Belgium): the quality team documented and critiqued the initial options of the project, and produced a thorough analysis of the interim report, at the end of the project. It contributed to solving an issue between the client and the supplier, since the client personnel shifted entirely during the period. The external observation from an invariant observer provided neutral advice.

Project C

Leonardo Project (Hungary): project involving partners from 3 countries, the PQM team assisted the Project Manager to identify the critical success factors of the project and the risks, and to set up adequate performance indicators and risk mitigation actions in every component. An in depth analysis of the mid term achievements was made, corrective actions taken and at the end, a thorough project evaluation phase took place.

Project D

Erasmus project (Germany): the commitment of external evaluators from the start of this Education and Technology project, has made possible a close monitoring of the activities and has allowed to avoid deviations both in terms of project achievement and duration. At the end of the project it has also played an important role in succeeding to get a national grant for three more years, which contributed to the sustainability of the project.

Project E

Transfer of Innovation Project (Hungary-Romania-Finland): the project involved 5 partners, from 3 countries. A strong focus was put in the risk management since the beginning of the project, because there was a visible exposure about the lack of commitment to collect enough pilot cases, which was a key target of the project. The PQM work was highly praised by the external auditors at the interim phase. Then during the second half, the focus was put on the evaluation of the achievements against agreed standards, so that the project was able to show ample evidence of success in the various activities.

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quality monitoring, risk management, critical success factors, key performance indicators
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