In terms of project management, the concept of quality refers specifically to the degree or amount toward which an inherent or embedded number of traits fulfills a number of predetermined requirements that have been deemed necessary. Quality can also be defined through the use of a interpretation to refer to the non-inferiority, superiority or usefulness of a given item or concept. Across many industries, manufacturing for one, but also applicable in the area of project management, it is commonly stated that quality drives productivity. Indeed, often times it is obvious that improvements in productivity do inherently lead to greater revenues, opportunities for employment, and technological advances.
The concept of quality can also refer specifically to a finished part or product, regardless of where that part or product currently stands in the process. Inspection, which is usually being referred to when the concept of quality insurance is bandied about, is of a secondary preference to that of process control because process control refers to maintaining the quality of the ongoing process, rather than attempting to assess the quality of the end product.
This term is defined in the 3rd and the 4th edition of the PMBOK.