How Risk and Quality Management are Interlinked

How Risk and Quality Management are Interlinked


Risk management and quality management are connected and integral parts of project management. In fact, the businesses that address their risks in every possible way are most competent at achieving quality excellence! By considering risk management along with your quality management approach, you are cushioning your organization against all possible odds and helping it to maintain consistency in its outputs. Adopting the risk-based approach in your quality management strategy makes you initiative-taking in managing risks, rather than being reactive.

Keep reading to learn how risk and quality management are interlinked.

Quality Mindset

This tactic should include the quality standards that have been determined by the organization and documented in the Quality Management Plan. The plan includes the working roles of quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) which focus on the proper activities needed to operationally satisfy the respective quality goals. The QA process reviews the state of the project from its ability to deliver the required result (e.g., installation and a satisfied customer), while the QC approach (e.g., inspections and tests) covers the tactical procedures to measure the quality of a product. If you want to read more about the importance of quality, check out The Quadruple Constraints of Project Management – MPUG which was one of the top articles published in 2022.

Risk Mindset

Smart organizations perceive risks as they relate to project success, or opportunities, to boost chances of success. Risk management involves processes, tools, and techniques that will help the PM maximize the probability of a predictable outcome. The management of this practice should include the assignment of a risk value that attempts to gauge the likelihood that the project will achieve at least the following milestones: next major milestone, public announcement date and product delivery date. Definitions of risk values that can be assigned vary widely in practice and are usually based on historical and current data. An example of one approach is to use three assignments: low, medium, and high.

A low condition is where the risk consequence would have insignificant impact on quality, planned schedules, function, and/or costs. Also, the probability of occurrence might be so low as to cause no concern. Normal monitoring and control is required to ensure continued low-risk status.

A medium condition is where the risk consequences would have a noticeable and disturbing impact on quality, planned schedules, function and/or costs. This level of risk requires close control of all contributing factors, establishment of a recovery plan, and efforts to identify a contingency plan.

A high condition is where a high probability of occurrence would have significant impact on quality, planned schedules, function and/or costs. This level of risk requires close control of each high-risk area and each contributing factor. Management also includes having a recovery plan, as well as a contingency plan. Certain factors being reached will trigger its implementation.

Since risk management contributes to quality, the above information could be presented at weekly status meetings by quality assurance, or the project manager. In either case, both parties should work together so as not to be surprised by the information, the conclusions that were drawn, and what cause-and-effect analysis are used as techniques to determine which actions are necessary.


Quality management is not independent of risk management. Quality doesn’t exist in the abstract and is an ongoing activity like risk management. Both should be managed together. They play a significant role for business to attain their quality goals and are often referred to as two sides of the same coin. If you experience a “sudden” decline in project or operations quality, consider whether your risks have changed. It could be the source of your quality dip. Solving the problem could strengthen your team.

Your thoughts on this topic would be much appreciated.

Next Webinar

Microsoft Project Online Integration with Azure DevOps

Avatar photo
Written by Ronald Smith

Ronald Smith has over four decades of experience as Senior PM/Program Manager. He retired from IBM having written four books and over four dozen articles (for example, PMI’s PM Network magazine and MPUG) on project management, and the systems development life cycle (SDLC). He’s been a member of PMI since 1998 and evaluates articles submitted to PMI’s Knowledge Shelf Library for potential publication.
From 2011 – 2017, Ronald had been an Adjunct Professor for a Master of Science in Technology and taught PM courses at the University of Houston’s College of Technology. Teaching from his own book, Project Management Tools and Techniques – A Practical Guide, Ronald offers a perspective on project management that reflects his many years of experience. Lastly in the Houston area, he has started up two Toastmasters clubs and does voluntary work at various food banks.

Share This Post

Leave a Reply