Agility and ISO 9001

Jurka Rahikkala
On Mar 27, 2013 9:19:00 AM

If you are well informed about your own organization and your surroundings, it’s easier to serve customers and make good decisions. This was known already to Sun Tzu and is also one cornerstone of the ISO 9001 standard. ISO 9001 is a quality standard focusing on the very basics of the organization, like clear responsibilities or customer satisfaction. For example, the standard thinks that it’s good to know who is responsible and for what, and it’s good to know how satisfied the customers are.

You probably have guessed already that Vaadin has just received its ISO certificate. The reason why Vaadin decided to develop a quality system was surprisingly agility: if things are clear and there is plenty of data to support our actions, we can keep our promises easier and make fast and well informed decisions. For Vaadin quality means that people, communication, collaboration and responsiveness are emphasized, while all unnecessary documentation and processes are left out. Just like in the Agile Manifesto.

Vaadin’s mission is to make building amazing web applications easy. Two important aspects of this mission are to arrange good training courses and deliver successful projects to the customers. Therefore it’s important for us to know what our customers think about our services. We started measuring the customer satisfaction roughly one year ago, and currently our past three month customer satisfaction is 4.24 / 5.00 for training courses and 4.39 / 5.00 for project deliveries. It’s easy to be proud of these scores! Although we try to improve constantly.

Other examples are Vaadin Framework itself and our add-on components. In addition to measuring the customer satisfaction, we’re also collecting customer feedback and experiences by using several different information sources. This information is used for building product roadmaps and release plans. Community’s opinion weights a lot!

By this point you’ve probably got the idea of the ISO 9001 standard. It’s about doing the basic things better. While Vaadin emphasizes innovation, creativity and aesthetics a lot, we also believe that these aspects benefit from having the basic things right.

We hope that you can notice both the precision and creativity always when you encounter Vaadin.

Jurka Rahikkala
Co-founder and COO at Vaadin Ltd. I have a long experience in leading international software projects and working as a senior manager in multinational companies. My professional interests and areas of expertise include software project business cases, cost estimation and project leadership. Currently I'm preparing my PhD thesis about "Top management participation in software project cost estimation".
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