Architecting a Quality Management System

ISO 9001 Quality Management Requirements

The ISO 9001 quality management framework presents a set of requirements. The job of the quality manager is to develop a quality management system that complies with those requirements while meeting the unique needs of the business.

Developing a Quality Management System Framework

I have a way of approaching this design. It's really a general purpose design pattern. I call it the Quality Management System Architecture Framework.
The architecture is expressed in terms of views; ways of visualising, understanding and evolving your organisation's approach to quality management. It presents the overall approach and allows your people to identify where they fit in.
The Leadership view describes how your management oversees the development ,deployment and operation of your quality management system.
The Cultural view articulates the shared values that motivate your people to care about quality and the initiatives taken by management to develop and sustain that culture.
The People view addresses the competencies your people need to deliver quality.
The Services view details the services routinely applied to improving quality at the organisational and project levels.
The Process view lists the business processes that impact quality and therefore need to be formally controlled.
The Documentation view identifies the documentation set that defines your quality management system and cross references it to elements of the process view.
The Definition & Measurement view explicitly describes what quality means in your business context and specifies how it is measured.
The Records view provides a list of records generated by business processes. For example test records are a must for an effective test program. They also provide input to quality improvement programs.
The Economic view is a pragmatic evaluation of how much quality management is costing you. It's an aid to focussing your efforts at the points where you'll get the greatest return.
The Compliance view keeps a watching brief on the industry standards that inform and constrain the way you do business. It focuses on the current state of play and likely future developments.
The Creative view. And last, but certainly not least, I have the Creative view. The exposition of how your organisation generates and transforms new ideas into saleable products and services. How it enhances creativity and innovation in your people.
Why is this necessary? You won't find it called out in ISO 9001. Well, I believe it's important because the path from idea to product release has become shorter and even more frictionless. In our industry increasingly high premiums are being paid for creativity. Ideas factories like Google and Face Book are increasing in number, some making billions through creative use of new technologies.
Systems development is a creative industry. We deal in creative thought processes not machine tools. That's why quality management must engage with the process of innovation and provide active support.

Learn More at our Quality Management Workshop

Now that was a very brief overview of my approach to quality management. My workshop explores each view in much greater detail. From formulating quality policy, to describing quality in measurable terms, to developing process maps for software and electronic systems development.
In the workshop I illustrate quality improvement techniques with real-world case studies. Participants also bring along quality problems that are a continuing source of learning. So if you're creating or looking to improve a quality management system, or if you're just looking for ideas, come join us.

About this talk

How do you go about designing a software quality management system that not only complies with ISO 9001 but also improves your business? Les Chambers' approach is to characterise the QMS development exercise as an architectural design problem. In this talk he describes a QMS architecture framework that can be implemented in any organisation.

He also discusses the importance of the creative process in organisations that develop software.

Related talks

Does Quality Matter?

The Quality Management System Framework

CA Workshop

How to Implement a Software Quality Management System

CA Service

Quality Management