GEOG 871
Geospatial Technology Project Management

Assignment #6 - Quality Management Plan


Assignment #6 - Quality Management Plan

Assignment 6 Overview

Timing: See Canvas Calendar
Submittal: One jointly prepared Quality Management Plan per team.
Target Word Count: 2000-3000 words (this is just a target to provide a general idea on level of detail)
Total Points: 70 points - see rubric for details

Assignments #6 (as well as Assignment #7) will be completed as team assignments. Assignment 6 is a Quality Management Plan for the City of Metropolis Geodatabase Project. You will be required to work with your assigned team (instructor will identify team composition) to complete this assignment. To carry out this assignment, assume that your team represents the Contractor providing project work to the City. The City's project manager (Lucille Geodata) has asked you to document your process for meeting the City's quality requirements and adhering to all required content, format, accuracy, and other quality criteria--as stated in the RFP and any additional quality criteria that you will put in place for the project. She wants to be comfortable that the deliverables provided by your firm will closely meet City requirements. In addition, she wants you to suggest steps that the City team should take to review deliverables as they are submitted, check for quality compliance, and to formally accept or reject deliverables. Only one jointly prepared submittal per team is required for Assignment 6 and will be submitted by the team leader.


Teams will remain the same for Assignment #6 (Quality Management Plan) and Assignment #7 (Risk Management Plan). For each of these team assignments you will need to have a team leader. The team leader should be different for each assignment. With limited time, the best way to select a team leader is for ONE TEAM MEMBER TO VOLUNTEER ASAP and get prompt assent from the rest of the team. It is expected that all team members will actively participate in these team assignments.

Your Submittal for Assignment #6

With your teammates, create a Quality Management Plan for the Metropolis Geodatabase Development Project. A project must plan for quality of deliverables from the onset and put in place quality control and quality assurance checks to ensure that deliverables meet required level of quality. This plan will identify expected levels of quality for project deliverables and steps that your team will take to ensure that deliverables submitted to the City meet stated quality requirements. The main basis for your Quality Plan is Section 5 and Section 6 of the (City of Metropolis RFP). These parts of the RFP state expected quality criteria for the contractor’s deliverables—see Table 2 for a summary of the deliverables. Specifically, this Assignment should address quality management for the following deliverables (see RFP Table 2):

  • MD2: GIS Data
  • MD4: Design and development of custom GIS applications to support City update of data

The Quality Management Plan should cover the following topics:

  • Cover page with prominent title and all necessary information identifying the course, assignment, author, and date. The main title of the document should be "QUALITY MANAGEMENT PLAN". The Cover Page should also reference "City of Metropolis" and the full project name. At the bottom of the Cover Page (right side is best), include the course name and number, assignment number, Team number and team members, and date.
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction about the purpose of this plan
  • Brief project background and scope overview--Mention the launch of this project and assembling of a Project Team with Publc Works in the lead. Explain that the City initiated the project with PW in lead. Mention the RFP and hiring of your firm. Make a brief statement about collaboration between the contractor and City team and summary of roles in the project.
  • Summary of deliverables--description of the two deliverables (MD2 and MD4) which are the subject of this assignment. Don't include a lot of detail but describe them as a basis for getting into more details about quality management relating to them. You can use excerpts from Table 2 of the City's RFP. Provide a reasonable amount of detail becuase this is important to understand quality management workflows.
  • Define the terms "quality" and "quality management" as it relates to this project.
  • Explain the quality parameters for Deliverables MD2 and MD4 (NOTE: These come from the RF and are also referenced in Canvas Table 7-2)
  • Present and explain the quality management workflow for MD2. A flow chart* and accompanying description should be included. This should explain the workflow for contractor deliverable development and QC and submittal to the City AND the QA checking process and tools used by the City to accept (or reject) data deliverables.  NOTE: Suggest making this a separate Section in the document
  • Present and explain the quality management workflow for MD4.  A flow chart* and accompanying description should be included. The workflow should cover the design and development process (by the contractor) and the iterative review and comment process with the City team.  The quality management workflow should show include final User Acceptance Testing and approval by the City, followed by preparation and review of documentation.  Remember that there are two MD4 deliverables (the office-based and the field-based applications). You do NOT need to include a workflow diagram separately for each of these MD4 applications but the accompanying text should explain the quality management for these two applications.  NOTE: Suggest making this a separate Section in the document.
  • Include a summary of the automated and manual tools and processes that will be used to support the QC and QA work by the Contractor and the City Team.  This should include some detail about the Web-based SD4 QA tools.
  • Explain how Deliverable SD4 is used to support Deliverable tracking and the City's QA process.

*See the GIS Management Handbook for ideas on format and style for flow charts.  Symbology uses "Unified Modeling Language" (UML) symbology.  Mainly, you'll be using two symbol types with connecting arrowed lines: rectangles that are workflow steps and "decision diamonds" which represent a point where the workflow path may take more than one path based on a condition.

Make sure you describe the workflow explaining the complementary roles of the Contractor and the City in quality review and acceptance of the deliverables. For Deliverable MD2, this workflow includes the Contractor QC activities for data deliverables and then submits to the City for its QA review (culminating in acceptance or rejection). 

As in all written assignments, you should include a cover page which includes the following information: a) course number and name, b) assignment number and name, c) your name, and d) submittal date. The cover page should also have the full project name, title ("Quality Management Plan"), and name of your contracted company. Your submitted assignment should be formatted as specified in the Format Quality of this assignment’s rubric below to earn maximum points. As you prepare this assignment, START WITH AN OUTLINE, with sections and subsections that cover the topics above. We recommend that you use the Outline/Heading feature of your word processing software in document preparation. It is expected that you will organize the document into numbered and named sections. It is best practice today, for technical and management documents, to use a "decimal" outline numbering scheme (1., 1.1, etc.) as opposed to the older Roman Numeral numbering approach.

With the assignment of team members and a team leader, the groups should use the most appropriate means for communication and collaboration. The Groups Space can be used for Group Discussion and file sharing.  Teams are also welcome to use other collaboration tools such as:

  • email communication with attachments,
  • - (Penn State now supports as a video conferencing tool),
  • Skype (person-to-person or group calls),
  • Google Docs allowing joint revision of documents,
  • the "Conferences" tool, and
  • social media tools.

The Quality Management Plan should be from about 1500 to 2500 words in length. As is the case for all written assignments, the word count is a target to give you an idea about the level of detail expected. As a general rule, it is best to keep it concise and as brief as possible while still covering the necessary topics. No points will be deducted for submittals if they exceed the maximum word count by a small amount.

Refer to the grading rubric below for guidelines on expected content and format.

Submitting the Assignment Submittal and Grading

View specific directions for Submitting Assignment #6. See Canvas Calendar for submittal date. The grading information and rubric is below.

This assignment is worth 70 points. The points awarded from the Instructor’s grading of this Assignment will be given to all members of the team. 

The instructor may deduct points if the Assignment is turned in late, unless a late submittal has been approved by the Instructor prior to the Assignment submittal date.

Assignment #6 Grading Rubric
Grading Category Basis for Scoring Total Possible Points

Point Award Explanation

A. Inclusion of Required Content
  • Cover page and table of contents.
  • Inclusion of elements and required topics in the assignment description.
  • Adequate background information about the project, deliverables, and quality management concepts.
  • Quality and correctness of description and presentation of topics.
  • Content that shows understanding of course content and readings.
  • EXCEPTIONAL: 21 to 22 points if all required elements and topics are covered with a fully complete, correct, and well-worded presentation. 
  • INADEQUATE: 1 to 3 points if the majority of content is missing and description is not complete or correct. 
  • MINIMALLY ADEQUATE to VERY GOOD: 4 to 20 points for lack of inclusion of content and/or quality/correctness deficiencies between the “Exceptional” and “Inadequate” categories described above.
B. Overall Document Organization
  • Cover page (see explanation above).
  • Effectiveness of document organization including section and subsection arrangement.
  • Logical progression of content allowing reader to easily follow discussion.
  • Integration of Quality Management Plan with other assignments such as WBS.
  • EXCEPTIONAL: 15 to 16 points for an extremely well-organized and presented document, that easily conveys meaning and message to reader. 
  • INADEQUATE: 1 to 2 points if organization and logical progression, is so deficient that content and message is significantly lost on the reader. 
  • MINIMALLY ADEQUATE to VERY GOOD: 3 to 14 points for organization and/or logical progression deficiencies between the “Exceptional” and “Inadequate” categories described above.
C. Quality/Clarity of Writing Writing quality and clarity refers to how well and effectively words and sentences to convey meaning to the reader including the following:
  • Statement of purpose and introduction that sets context for rest of document.
  • Good, appropriate choice of words.
  • Sentence construction and proper grammar and syntax.
  • Concise and to the point without redundancy.
  • Length appropriate to the stated requirements without significantly exceeding stated word count.
  • EXCEPTIONAL: 19 to 20 points for a very clear, extremely well-written document, with no or insignificant problems in word choice, grammar, etc.
  • INADEQUATE: 1 to 2 points with significant, frequent problems in introduction, word choice, sentence construction, grammar, and length
  • MINIMALLY ADEQUATE to VERY GOOD: 3 to 18 points for deficiencies in writing quality of clarity between the “Exceptional” and “Inadequate” categories described above.
D. Format Quality Well-formatted document helps convey content and meaning to the reading. Important format parameters include:
  • Well-formatted cover page with necessary information.
  • Page numbering.
  • Use of numbering for sections and subsections.
  • Choice of fonts (type, style, size for headings and body).
  • Table and figure format (consistent and easy to read and digest).
  • Table column width and row height setting and effective use of table borders and shading.
  • Bullet point list spacing consistent and easy to interpret bulleted entries.
  • Overall vertical and horizontal spacing (line spacing, indents, etc.).
  • Page breaking in manner that avoids disruption of content.
  • Proper spelling.
  • Overall consistency of format throughout document.
  • EXCEPTIONAL: 11 to 12 points for an extremely well-formatted document which is attractive; uses very effective text, table, and graphic formatting; format rules are applied consistently throughout; and overall presentation makes it easy for the reader to navigate and grasp content.
  • INADEQUATE: 1 to 2 points with significant and frequent problems in multiple format parameters to the point where the document is distracting and very hard to understand.
  • MINIMALLY ADEQUATE to VERY GOOD: 3 to 10 points for deficiencies in selection of format rules and their consistent application between the “Exceptional” and “Very Poor” categories described above.