As the end user will always remain the decisive factor in judging the quality of software, constant errors and performance inadequacies will ultimately deem the product defective and useless. To overcome such setbacks, software development must be treated as a process that can be controlled, measured and enhanced from inception to operation.
The workshop was in light of Lebanese software companies repeatedly requesting training on the different international standards needed to give them a local and international competitive edge.
Defining quality standards and certification as the ISO 9000, ISO 17799 and the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), the workshop was held from March 21st to 23rd & discussed numerous other relevant topics. Among them were the costs of implementing these specific standards, obtaining a certification and maintaining it.
Highlighting the role of ALSI in the workshop, President Mr. Joe Abi Aad explained: “we defined the workshop terms of reference in conjunction with ELCIM. And as Quality Management has been identified by ALSI as a major need for software industries in order to improve their products from production to sales and support, it was inevitable to train them on the different standards.”
Mr. Abi Aad pinpointed the various requests ALSI received which brought about the need of this workshop. “CEOs want to understand the difference and the efforts required to acquire certifications. A lot of Software industry managers want to know about the involvement of resources, the extra cost, and the benefits they can expect when going through a quality standard certification.”
Describing the current certification situation of local software companies, Mr. Abi Aad said that some of the larger software companies have acquired ISO 9000 or CMMI certifications. He added that Other ALSI members did benefit form ELCIM’s ISO initiative back in 2004 and defined their internal quality standards procedures as per ISO 9000 requirements, but without getting the final audit and official certification. “Moreover, a majority of the software industries are not even ISO or CMMI certified. This workshop will be a good opportunity for them to get the job finished or begin certification procedures,” he concluded.
ELCIM Director Mr. Raja Habre described receiving standard labels as CMMI or ISO as a requirement by international customers. “ELCIM’s end goal here is to market Lebanese software particularly in Europe, by improving local companies’ qualifications, exploring EU markets with the highest potential for Lebanese software companies, and organizing match making business missions in Europe.”
Mr. Habre stressed on the fact that not only will ELCIM provide the training, but also a follow up committee which will regularly report on the software company’s up keeping and adherence to the certification requirements. “Getting them started is just as important as teaching them to safeguard their certification.”
The ISO 9000 family is primarily concerned with ‘quality management’, while the ISO 17799 is actually ‘a comprehensive set of controls comprising best practices in information security’.
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