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Agile ISO – Lean and Effective QMS

Since QA is the lynchpin of an organization, they need to be armed with detailed understanding of how project actually gets executed considering customer specifications, resource competency level, schedule and budget constraints in addition to being expert in QA models and QMS standards. We will try to figure out mapping one model viz., Agile to QA processes and together with ISO standard.


Entire QMS needs to be devised keeping in mind to build a foundation for repeatable and continual improvement in the organization. Hence while designing the processes QA need to work in collaboration with actual users of the processes.  After collecting the important activities done by each process owners in their process areas QA should sequence them and arrive at approximate SIPOC (Supplier-Input-Process-Output-Customer) framework. The model chosen be it Agile or Structured should then be compared with the designed SIPOC frame work. Finally these can be again mapped to the standard models like ISO or CMMI to further enhance the compliance. Here is an attempt to map the QA process with Agile and ISO clauses as mentioned below.


The matrix below tries to analyze how Agile model complies with most of the ISO clauses and hence leaves little work on compliance issues for the already pressurized project people. I would like to add here that certain areas (part or full) like clause 4, 5 and 6 and may be parts of other clauses are not mapped here. This matrix just signifies that to a significant extent few artifacts of Agile comply with ISO’s many requirements.


Any thoughts welcome.


Process Areas Mapped to Agile Model and ISO


Process Area              Agile activity                  ISO clause


Process Definition, Development

Selection of appropriate Project Management and engineering procedures for Agile model

4.1, 4.2.1, 5.4.2, 7.1.


Collaborative Hub dashboards

5.6.1, 5.6.2, 5.6.3, 8.2.3, 8.2.4

Measurement & Analysis of data

Sprint Backlog Tracking

8.1, 8.2.1, 8.2.2, 8.2.3, 8.2.4, 8.4

Continual Improvement

Retrospective and reviews learning and using them in subsequent sprints

8.5.1, 8.5.2, 8.5.3, 7.5.2

Planning and Management of Project

Planning, Assigning tasks, Tracking through Burn down charts and collaborative hubs

7.1, 7.2.1, 7.2.2, 7.2.3, 7.3.1, 8.2.3, 8.2.4, 7.3.1

Configuration Management

Sprint backlog is the updated product spec at any time and is always current – no separate configuration  management is required for work products

7.3.7, 7.5.3, 7.6

Risk Plan and Management

Best addresses by product and sprint backlogs collaboratively with stakeholders. Statuses of backlogs updated reflecting the risks.

7.1, 7.3.1, 7.3.4

Requirements Management

Pre sprint activity

7.2.1, 7.2.2, 7.2.3

Design activities

Pre sprint activity

7.3.1, 7.3.2, 7.3.3

Coding and Development

Sprint tasks burning (development)

7.3.1, 7.3.2, 7.3.3, 7.3.4, 7.3.5, 7.3.6,7.5.1

Testing activities

Unit and Continuous integration testing

7.3.5, 7.3.6, 8.3,8.2.4,8.2.3

Release Management

Sprint Themes deliveries

7.1, 7.5.1, 7.5.5,8.2.3


Sprint Themes deliveries

7.1, 7.5.1, 7.5.5

Technical Review

Peer reviews and Test driven development

7.3.4, 7.3.5, 7.3.6, 8.3,8.2.4


Pushing / debugging of sprint issues within or in next sprints

7.2.1, 7.2.2, 7.2.3, 7.5.1,  8.2.1

Customer related processes

Collaboratively addressing the issues and resolution

7.2.1, 7.2.2, 7.2.3, 7.5.1, 5.2, 8.2.1


2 Responses

  1. Very much informative and good work. We have also done the similar excercise, but after defining standard processes for Scrum/XP and FDD development methodologies (as a new Lifecycle). However we find it difficult to ensure that the defined Agile standard processes are followed across all agile projects. This is all the more difficult in CMMi environment!

    So our challenge is to map the processes followed in each and every project.

    • Thanks for the comment. Agree with you Mahesh. CMMi and Agile are two ends of the spectrum.

      With due respects to CMMi the gold standard to software engineering, IMHO ISO is more mature as it can fit to any methodology be it predictive, adapative even disruptive. ISO always looks into intention and effectiveness if applied in true spirit. The implementation will differ from project to project , ultimately what matters if the effect of embracing the model, methodology. ISO talks about customer in all the clauses around 5 places. Also the eight Quality Management principle which form the basis of ISO also covers all aspect of business and development.

      this post explains the ISO Vs Agile engagement

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