Iso Nine Thousand

This is based on a bunch of reading and some training at Chrysler. If you know more about this than I do, or your writing is more interesting, please chime in. --RonJeffries

A "standard" for stating a quality process and determining whether it is followed. There are five aspects, informally:

Say what you do
Have written quality procedures;
Do what you say
Follow the procedures;
Record what you do
Keep quality records (as specified by your procedures);
Prove it
Check the results;
Improve it
Act on the differences.

ISO-9000 does not specify which areas you formalize, or how you formalize them. The certification process is that you are measured by the auditors against your performance against your own standards.

Certain industry organizations (or, one supposes, governments) might choose to check your procedures to be sure they're stringent enough. This is not part of ISO-9000, but might be part of your specific contract. --RonJeffries


ISO 9001 is the most general of the series of specifications. It is the model for QA. The core of the standard is:

ISO 9000-3 Is the guide for applying 9001 to SW development. This was revised in Dec. 97 to form a bridge to 12207.

ISO/IEC 12207 Is one of the latest and most comprehensive software standards.

IEEE/EIA 12207 Incorporates ISO/IEC 12207, so that a US organization which conforms to the IEEE standard also conforms the ISO 12207 standard.

The SEI CapabilityMaturityModel (CMM) is a comprehensive guideline for software engineering.

The ISO auditors don't care (and won't tell you) if you implement a good process or a poor process, they rely on the marketplace (the invisible hand) to judge the quality of a process. Of course, if you happen to be using a poor process, and the invisible hand smashes your organization, it's too late to improve it. Both 12207 and the SEI-CMM can help you decide whether your process has the qualities you desire. -- KentSchnaith

The EuropeanFoundationForQualityManagement's ExcellenceModel, on the other hand, does determine how good your process is, by measuring how satisfied your various stakeholders (management, staff, customers, suppliers, partners) are.


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