Dear PM Advisor. Apr 21, 2014

Dear PM Advisor I'm having difficulty with a particular team member who wants to keep adding features and improvements to the product. This keeps adding time to the project. He says he is doing his job by adding quality to the product. He is the Quality Director. What do I say to that?

Stymied in Syracuse.

Dear Stymied,

Give him the definition of Quality. The degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfills requirements. If you received x amount of money and y amount of time to fulfill z amount of requirements, it is not within his purview to add to this list.

It appears that he is changing the grade of the product. There is a key distinction between quality and grade. An i-phone is a higher grade than a flip phone when it comes to making calls. But a flip phone that never fails to make calls is a higher quality product than an i-phone that has a few glitches in this function.

Make sure the Quality Director is not adding features or gold-plating the product. You signed up for x, y and z and he lacks the authority to unilaterally increase any of these project constraints simply because he wants to increase the grade of the product.

Good luck,

PM advisor.

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