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ISO 9001 - Is All That Documentation Worth It?

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I worked for a company that implemented ISO 9001 while I was there. One of my projects was even used during the examination and I had to explain to the ISO 9001 rep how I used it.

After going through the ISO 9001 process, how do I feel about it? Personally, I think ISO 9001 is mainly a thing for advertising and provides very little in terms of your process.

During software development, we were forced to create ISO 9001 documentation. Documentation is a good thing, don’t get me wrong… but we were making documentation that did not seem relevant and was an overly complex.

The company I worked for didn’t really have many projects that used ISO 9001 properly, but the ISO tester let themselves be lead around. I thought the tester should have been delving much deeper into the business, but this was not apparent from where I was sitting. I was surprised to learn that the company passed.

The ISO 9001 documentation we were creating was not made to make our software better… but to ensure that we were meeting ISO 9001 requirements. I feel we could have made a much better documentation system than ISO 9001 that would have led to much less paperwork and led to creation of better software.

ISO 9001 documentation is also tedious for the people who have to make it. This led to developers making jokes about it and being less motivated to perform tasks.

I think ISO 9001 might be good for marketing, but as someone who has seen what is required to be ISO 9001 compliant, I am probably less likely to be impressed with the company. I would rather work with a company that has developed an efficient documentation system and show top quality work and references.

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