A Book Review by Norman C. Frank, PE, CQM, CQE, CQA
CER Corporation, Washington, DC
This book provides an excellent overview for people in small and medium-sized companies who will be seeking ISO registration for design, development, maintenance, and evolution of computer software. It provides the assistance based on ISO 9001 and ISO 9000-3 guidelines. Information on selecting registrars, frequently asked questions, cost of registration, and much more information necessary for use and reference during the registration process.
The Section I (Preface) provides a great deal of information to acquaint the reader with the basics of the ISO 9000 series standards and the general process for achieving registration. The preface also begins interspersing quotations from executives and others who have already achieved ISO registration for software products. These quotes contain real-life examples of the benefits of registration and the methods of registration.
The book consists of five information sections followed by four supporting sections (appendices, glossary, bibliography, index). Section II divides the registration process into eight phases from "the start" to "annual surveillance visits". The authors provide an outline for each phase, giving the primary activities and executive actions of each phase, followed by "Directives for executives, Managers, and Project Leaders". These Directives provide the greatest guidance for people who take an active role in the ISO registration process. Here again, quotations from people who have already achieved registration for software add credibility to the ISO registration process and the resultant benefits. For example, "You must have a champion or ISO registration won't happen." Michael Jaques, Prior Data Sciences Ltd.
The information provided in Section II is further supplemented by Section III, "Answers to Frequently Asked Questions". These questions were contributed by executives from several small and medium-sized companies that were considering ISO registration. These questions answer how much it will cost as well as how long it will take.
Section IV provides guidelines for application of ISO 9001, as further delineated by ISO 9000-3, to software development. It includes actions for management to take as well as an outline of the expected content of the documented quality management system.
In Section V the authors provide Sources of Information concerning registrars, publications, and other sources of ISO-related information. As you go through the ISO registration process the use of these resources will be necessary and useful.
This book is written with the Canadian reader in mind, however the content is just as appropriate for the United States. It provides good information for planning and approaching the ISO registration process.
Mr. Frank has over 25 years experience in the field of quality, in the areas of nuclear quality assurance, research and development, and consulting. He is currently in Washington, D.C., with CER Corporation out of Las Vegas, Nevada, and can be reached at 202-488-5444.
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