The following guidelines of the Project have been agreed by the Board in relation to initiating, supporting and monitoring the projects.
5.1 Purpose of the Project
The purpose of APQN projects is to identify common areas of interest to APQN members that need close attention and to facilitate work on those areas with shared responsibilities. Project areas are dynamic in nature, depending on the developments that take place in the quality assurance field.
The work of a project should result in a report that will be made available on the APQN website. Outputs should be timely because new issues and developments keep cropping up in the field of quality assurance. APQN would have the right to use the report in any way it deems fit. The member organizations of APQN may also use the report in any way they want.
5.2 Criteria for Identification of the Projects
The projects are expected to serve the common purposes of APQN. Topics chosen by the projects should be relevant to member countries/territories and the outputs should benefit the Asia-Pacific Region or part of the Region. The projects should focus on precise topics rather than broad generalizations about QA issues. Project topics are either identified by an APQN member(s) or by the Board where the Board sees a need for APQN to explore a topic in more detail either alone or in cooperation with other organizations.
Projects that address the needs of only one or two members have low priority. Proposals involving multiple member organizations are given priority. Members are also encouraged to submit small projects on themes they want to explore.
5.3 Project Group Composition
Each project is steered by a project leader, and would not normally have more than five members, drawing members from at least three different organizations within the region. No more than two projects may be hosted by one organization. The project group members might be identified by the project group leader, based on expressions of interest and/or by specific invitation to potential contributors to the project. The diversity of the APQN members should be taken into account while constituting the project. The Board might advise the project group leader on this, if necessary.
5.4 Making a Proposal
The project proposals should be made through email to the Secretariat. Proposals will be accepted from would-be group leaders, who should be either staff of an APQN member organization or belong to the extended network of resource persons of the organization who are involved in carrying out its quality assurance activities. In all cases, the proposal must have the formal approval and support of the Head of an APQN member organization.
Applications should therefore be made via the Head of an organization who will endorse it on behalf of the organization. While routing the proposals to APQN, the organization is expected to consider the relevance of the project to APQN membership and indicate its recommendations. The Board will consider the suggestions and applications and identify priority projects. The Board will invite the project leader to lead the group.
Some suggestions may come from the AGM or from the Board itself, in which case the Board will appoint a person to head the group.
5.5 Format for Presentation of Project Proposal
5.5.1 Contents of Project Proposal
- Relevance to APQN Objectives/Activities
- Expected Outputs
- Project Team
5.5.2 Time schedule
Projects are expected to provide an interim report after six months against the outcomes in the project proposal and the timetable, and complete their work with a final report after one year. On a case-to-case basis, the Board may agree to extend the project’s period of operation to another year.
Should the Board decide to continue the project, a new group will be created. The Board, however, will identify at least one member of the previous group to get involved in the new project.
5.5.3 Support for the project
APQN may provide seed money for a project, not exceeding US$1,000 per project. Valid reasons for which seed money may be sought include convening meetings and discussions of the project and travel within the region for completion of the project. It cannot be spent on consultancy charges.
Along with the proposal for the project, a detailed budget should be submitted and disbursements of project funds should adhere to those estimates. The Board /Finance Committee may advise the project group leader on these estimates.
Should a member organization feel strongly about a project and has the resources to fund the activities of the group, it may do so.
Once the project group is approved by the Board, the Secretariat will release the money for sanctioned purposes in response to the request by the project group leader.
5.5.4 Monitoring the activities of the projects
The APQN Constitution mandates that the Vice-President takes charge of monitoring the activities of the projects and making periodic reports on these. For monitoring purposes, the projects are required to submit an annual work plan with specific time lines and projected outputs as soon as the project is approved.
5.6 Basic Phases of Project Management
The process of directing and controlling a project from start to finish is divided into 5 basic phases:
Phase 1: APQN project conception and initiation
An idea for a project submitted by a project leader from a member organization will be carefully examined to determine by APQN Board whether or not it benefits APQN. During this phase, the Board identify whether the project can realistically be completed.
Phase 2: Project definition and proposal
A project proposal must be put in writing to outline the work to be performed, including the following contents: 1) objectives/purpose; 2) relevance to APQN objectives/activities; 3) methodology/process/contents; 4) expected outputs;5) budget; 6) timetable; 6) project team. During this phase, APQN Board should prioritize the project, calculate a budget and schedule, and determine what resources are needed.
Phase 3: Project launch and execution
After getting the approval of the Board, the project team is informed of responsibilities by the Secretariat. This is a good time to bring up important project related information.
Phase 4: Project performance and control
During this phase, the project leader will perform the scheduled project and may adjust the schedules or do what is necessary to keep the project on track. At the same time, the leader will report the Board the project status and progress to the actual plan in the mid-term of the performance.
Phase 5: Project close
After the project tasks are completed, the leader must submit the Board a full project report as well as an evaluation to highlight project success and/or learn from project history. After the Board has approved the outcome, the report, the shorten result report must be uploaded to APQN website for the public.
APQN project processes vary among APQN members; however, these are more traditional elements of a project. The overarching goal is typically to offer a project outcome, change a process or to solve a problem in order to benefit APQN.