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ISO 9001:2000 addresses almost any possible situations as for Quality improvement goes. Though there is some thought in the IT industry that ISO relates less than its counterpart CMMI in terms of model adaptation for IT Quality Management System.

I would not think so.


Four significant recommendations of ISO 9001:2000 are:

  • Measurement of Customer Satisfaction
  • Continual Improvement
  • Independent Internal Audits
  • Corrective and Preventive Action

If we try to interpret the values of above recommendations for IT industries, it will do lot of good for benefits of the Customers and the ISO organization.


Customer Satisfaction Measurement As per ISO, it can be done using surveys, regular interactions at project, delivery and engagement levels. The methods of collection of data and analysis are left to the specific type of organizations and their specific customers. This is the beauty of ISO it stops with requirement definition and leaves the implementation to the owners of the processes. In these days of Agile development with flexible frame works ISO suits the best in terms of customization of clauses w.r.t each process area. In Agile since the focus is on collaborative approach, the sprint backlog items are tracked almost on daily basis and as a product owner customer knows the updated status of the project at any given point in time. Hence Burndown chart, Sprint tracking, White boarding all are means of customer satisfaction measurement. This is direct and best way to address the requirement of ISO’s Customer measurement clause. Sprints that are delivered are workable iterations and the feedback given on those deliveries will be direct from user’s perspective. This is a great proof that ISO and AGILE are indeed partners in Quality improvements.


 Continual Improvement – as compared to Breakthrough Improvement can be considered as gradual incremental improvements achieved by any system. This being the case in AGILE implementations Sprint deliveries, burning of stories, backlog updates and velocity measurements are best evidences for continual improvements involving all the stakeholders as required by ISO. Again great partnership of ISO and AGILE


Internal Audits though not directly relevant in AGILE parlance, we can think of Continuous integration testing and unit testing, and peer reviews as system checks to ensure quality deliveries


Corrective Preventive Action – this is taken care by the self adjusting nature of AGILE. Daily stand up meetings and removal of hurdles by the Sprint owner, using tools to review the code and testing continuously take care of correcting defects. When each sprint gets executed, after four cycles or so, one will have good learning from the review and retrospective phases of earlier sprints. If this hindsight is used prudently the team will prevent lots of errors / bugs by avoiding them.



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