A quality plan is a document, or several documents, that together specify quality standards, practices, resources, specifications, and the sequence of activities relevant to a particular product, service, project, or contract. Quality plans should define:

  • Objectives to be attained (for example, characteristics or specifications, uniformity, effectiveness, aesthetics, cycle time, cost, natural resources, utilization, yield, dependability, and so on)
  • Steps in the processes that constitute the operating practice or procedures of the organization
  • Allocation of responsibilities, authority, and resources during the different phases of the process or project
  • Specific documented standards, practices, procedures, and instructions to be applied
  • Suitable testing, inspection, examination, and audit programs at appropriate stages
  • A documented procedure for changes and modifications to a quality plan as a process is improved
  • A method for measuring the achievement of the quality objectives
  • Other actions necessary to meet the objectives

At the highest level, quality goals and plans should be integrated with overall strategic plans of the organization. As organizational objectives and plans are deployed throughout the organization, each function fashions its own best way for contributing to the top-level goals and objectives.

At lower levels, the quality plan assumes the role of an actionable plan. Such plans may take many different forms depending on the outcome they are to produce. Quality plans may also be represented by more than one type of document to produce a given outcome