Why No ISO9000 etc.
Introduction
Beer

We are sometimes asked about various ISO standards registration and why we have not been certified.  The answer is that we do not believe that these standards are appropriate for ourselves or our clients.

The bit about or our clients often confuses people, if I want you to write me some software, then how you do it is up you.

Actually no, most quality systems require that you measure you output against a specified standard, in the case of software it is usually against a Functional Specification.

The problem is always who creates the Functional Spec, in general you as the client probably don't have the time or expertise, if you had the expertise you would probably not be outsourcing the work.

If we create it then the software will match the spec but may not do what you want. It's a lovely spread sheet but we wanted a word processor.




Details
Agile Methodologies
We develop using Agile Methodologies, probably worth an internet search but basically it means that you use intelligent experienced people to develop the software against minimal documentation and with frequent end user contact.

If you have been developing software for many years, most business processes are obvious, despite your businesses' strengths in most cases most of your business processes will be pretty standard.

A spec that says "The application needs sales ledger functionality" is often enough.

The Cost
The only really contentious area with Agile Development is that you as a client have to accept that part of the development cost will be for work that is thrown away. "That is almost right, but have you taken into account that we also need to ....."

Why Doesn't Everyone Work This Way
There is a simple answer to this; In general the software development career path is inexperienced programmers write the programs and experienced programmers become designers and managers.

Management Commitment Is Required
Agile development requires user involvement, this means that someone in the Client's company has to be willing to get people involved. Surprising this is quite difficult, whilst everybody complains that their company's computer system is awful, if you offer the staff an opportunity to make a better one everyone is too busy to get involved.

Motivation for a project has to come from inside the Client's business, an outsider can't generate, because by definition he is "a here to day, gone tomorrow person."
Side Notes
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Agile development is hard for many people to accept, often because it hits at the heart of corporate identity. How can you understand our requirements you have never worked here?