Quality Knowledge Area


The Quality Management Knowledge Area is used to establish quality objectives for a product or project, and processes to meet those objectives.

It includes continuous improvement activities to fine-tune the quality of the product and project deliverables.

Questions for the Quality Knowledge Area
Question 1
  • Boyce Berry has joined a manufacturing firm in Japan as a project manager. She finds that the management system at the firm aims to involve all employees in continual improvement with a goal to achieve long-term success through customer satisfaction. Such a management approach is known as:

    1. Total Quality Management (TQM)

    2. Six Sigma

    3. Continual Improvement

    4. SIPOC (suppliers, inputs, process, outputs and customers) model


Question 2

  • What is the relationship between specification and control limits in a control chart?

    1. The range defined by control limits is less than that for specification limits.

    2. The seller (or manufacturer) needs to make sure that all deliverables, provided to the customer, are within the control limits, even if they happen to exceed the specification limits.

    3. Specification limits, along with control limits, are used to establish the natural capability for a stable process.

    4. The range defined by control limits could be greater or less than that for specification limits.


Question 3

  • Your product incurs additional cost in the field to fix certain defects in the parts. The problems due to defective parts were found and reported by various customers. This cost is part of:

    1. Customer service cost

    2. Cost of non-conformance

    3. Rework cost

    4. Break-fix cost


 Question 4

  • Which of these would not be considered as prevention cost?

    1. The cost to train employees to improve quality during manufacturing processes.

    2. The cost to make sure that the equipment is properly maintained and calibrated.

    3. The cost for proper documentation of the processes.

    4. The cost for reviewing the quality of a selected sample to make sure that the batch complies with the required quality objectives.



Question 5

  • Tom Timmins has taken over a project. When reviewing the WBS and a set of completed deliverables, he finds that four of the completed work packages do not meet the quality metrics that are in the statement of work (SOW). He discusses this with the project sponsor, who is surprised but asks Tim to create a change request for additional funding to fix the issues. The additional funding is part of:

    1. Prevention cost

    2. Inspection and quality control cost

    3. Appraisal cost

    4. Internal failure cost


Question 6

  • Mary Morales is a project manager for a large oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) firm in Lima, Peru. She is trying to get to the root cause of certain problems in the oil rig stations. Which would be the best technique to be used?

    1. Affinity diagrams

    2. Fishbone diagrams

    3. Pareto diagrams

    4. Scatter diagrams

Question 7

  • Chris Chung has joined a circuit-board manufacturing contract firm in North Carolina as a program manager. He notices that the firm focusses on keeping all equipment in top working condition to avoid breakdown and delays. There is a lot of focus on improving processes, employee morale and condition of all manufacturing and test equipment. Such a system is referred to as:

    1. Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

    2. Total Quality Management (TQM)

    3. Continual Improvement

    4. Theory of Constraints (TOC)



 Question 8

  • Which of the following is used to determine whether a process has predictable performance?

    1. Scatter diagram

    2. Histogram

    3. Control chart

    4. Affinity diagram


Question 9

  • A process where you compare the actual project quality standards to those of comparable projects in another industry is called:

    1. Brainstorming

    2. Benchmarking

    3. Expert judgment

    4. Data gathering




Question 10

  • You are explaining the difference between fitness for use and conformance to requirements. Which of the following would be true?

  1. Fitness for use and conformance are about making sure the product meets the stated requirements.

  2. Fitness for use is about making sure that the user experience is positive, and ease-of-use is high.

  3. Fitness for use is about making sure that the product or service satisfies real needs. Conformance is about meeting product requirements.

  4. Fitness for use is about user-friendliness. Users will tend to avoid using a product if it is difficult or cumbersome to use.

Question 11

  • A technique that is used to optimize or improve a specific aspect, such as reliability, ease of use, safety or quality, during product design, is known as:

  1. Alternative analysis

  2. Design for X (DfX)

  3. Root case analysis (RCA)

  4. Cause-and-effect (fishbone) diagram


 Question 12

  • Responsibility for quality of project deliverables lies with the:

    1. Project team members

    2. Project sponsor

    3. Project manager

    4. Senior management



       The correct answer is 1.  

TQM is a management approach where the effort for all the employees is to establish a customer-focused organization. The 8 principles of TQM are:

  1. Customer-focused efforts,

  2. Total employee involvement,

  3. Process-centered approach,

  4. Integrated systems,

  5. Systematic and strategic approach to achieving the organization vision and mission,

  6. Continual process improvement,

  7. Fact-based decision making, and

  8. Effective communications.

All of these principles cannot be implemented in one step. Instead, it is implemented through a series of small improvements.




         The correct answer is 4. 

The control limits are different from specification limits. Control limits are determined using statistical calculations and reflect the natural capability of a stable process.

Specification limits are based on requirements and reflect the allowable range.



        The correct answer is 2.

The question refers to liabilities and warranty cost, which are part of the cost of non-conformance.


       The correct answer is 4.

Reviewing quality of a selected set is an example of statistical sampling and inspection. This is part of appraisal cost (not prevention cost).


But choices A, B and C are examples of prevention cost which is incurred to improve quality while the product is being produced. It is not about post-production assessment or inspection.


       The correct answer is 4.

The funding is part of internal failure cost (or cost of non-conformance) because the defects have been identified and must be fixed.


There are two costs related to quality:

  • Cost of conformance: Prevention, inspections and appraisals are all part of cost of conformance. These aim to correct the processes and thereby reduce defects in the end-products.

  • Cost of non-conformance: This is incurred after you have found defective parts (before or after sending to the customer) and must fix the defects.


      The correct answer is 2.

A fishbone diagram (also called a cause-and-effect diagram) is the best way to break down the causes of a particular problem into branches and identify the root cause(s).

       The correct answer is 1.

Total productive maintenance (TPM) is a system of maintaining the production and quality systems with a goal to improve their value to the organization.


       The correct answer is 3.

A control chart is used to determine if a process is stable and has predictable performance. It has upper and lower control limits that are based on statistical calculations. The limits are used to identify if and when a process becomes unstable.


        The correct answer is 2.

Benchmarking is comparing the project plans, performance and quality to that of comparable projects within the organization or outside.


The correct answer is 3.

Fitness for use is that the service or product meets real needs for the user. Conformance is about making sure that the product or service meets the objectives and requirements


      The correct answer is 2.

Design for X (DfX) is a set of guidelines to optimize, improve or control a product’s feature such as its scalability, serviceability, cost-effectiveness, ease-of-use, etc. DfX helps reduce cost and improve quality and performance. See Page 295 of the PMBOK.


     The correct answer is 3.

The quality of the project deliverables is for the project manager to own and control. He or she in turn, needs to work with the management, sponsor and project team to deliver the required quality.
Note that the ownership of the quality at the organizational level is with the senior management.

This guide is based on the PMBOK 6th Edition® and is meant for PMP® Exams conducted until December 31, 2020