One of the most common industry standards
for quality systems is ISO-9001. According to the ISO 2009 survey, through the end of December 2009, at least 1,064,785 ISO-9001 (2000 and 2008) certificates had been issued in 178 countries and economies, making it the predominant standard for defining quality systems in the world.
ISO standards do not define the integrator’s quality system; they provide a guideline for the quality process. The main elements of an ISO standard quality system are:
- Quality Management System
- Management Responsibility
- Resource Management
- Product Realization
- Measurement, Analysis, and Improvement
The following sections briefly outline the requirements of the above elements.
Quality Management System
The integrator must establish, document, implement, and maintain a quality management system and continually improve its effectiveness. The first step is to define all the processes that exist in the integration business, how they interact, the resources needed to accomplish them, and how to monitor, measure, and analyze their effectiveness. The last statement is probably the most important element. System integrators must constantly improve the quality management system to make it as useful as it possibly can be.
In every business, management attention drives compliance with policy. Management must be committed to the requirements and success of the system, and it must be ingrained in the employees. This process starts with the quality policy that sets the goals of the quality system and provides the framework to review its effectiveness.
The most obvious portion of this requirement is making sure the system integrator has the resources available to provide the services defined in the quality system. However, there are other elements here that may not be so obvious. This section also deals with ensuring the training of human resources, on the technology required and the quality system itself. It also defines the infrastructure requirements and the equipment needed by personnel.