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KISTERS Quality Management

Purpose and Layout of the Quality Management System

The KISTERS quality management system provides comprehensive structuring of design and process organization for the entire company via the core process of software develop-ment. The main goal of quality management is to consequently orient all business activities towards customer satisfaction and usefulness.

The following quality principles form the basis for this:

  • Precisely recognizing and competently meeting the current and future needs of our customers
  • Management responsibility for the quality of our products and services; readiness of all employees to assume responsibility for every step in the development, production, and service processes
  • Continuously improving of our valuation processes with the goal of creating qualitatively valuable products and services
  • Building long-term, sustainable relationships with our customers, partners, and suppliers on a partnership basis

Certification in Accordance with DIN EN ISO 9001:2000

Since February 2002, the KISTERS environmental information technologies department has possessed a certified quality management system. Not only is the KISTERS headquarters in Aachen certified according to the international norm DIN EN ISO 9001:2000, but the branches in Duisburg, Oldenburg, and Munich are certified as well.

Product and process quality are nothing new for KISTERS, however: since 1995, software development of KISTERS products has been oriented towards the V-model, which is the de-velopment standard for national IT-systems. Computer systems that were developed according to the V-model guidelines are conform to the DIN EN ISO 9001 requirements for the entire software development process.

CMMI and the Core Process Software Development

Since the beginning of 2003, the software development core process has been systemati-cally expanded and adapted to the advanced specifications of the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), the standard of the United States Software Engineering Institute (SEI).

CMMI describes the practices and processes necessary for professional and qualitative software development in detail. The model is even stricter than the DIN EN ISO 9001 and V-model requirements in some points, however it requires the company to continuously im-prove processes and results on a qualitative basis, just like DIN EN ISO 9001.

Some areas in which the current KISTERS quality management system requirements were expanded are as follows:

  • Requirements Management:
    Creation and analysis of objective requirements in agreement with all parties involved in a project (client, project employees, management, other parties involved) at the beginning of a project; database-supported recording and tracking of changes in requirements during the course of the project; traceability of project implementation.
  • Project Planning, Monitoring, and Control:
    Establishment of systematic estimates for tasks and products; involving all stakeholders in planning; project planning for all phases of the project life cycle; intensified monitoring of some project parameters concerning project tracking and control (risks, data manage-ment, fulfilling the obligations of all parties involved).
  • Measurement and Analysis:
    Increase in analysis of previously recorded key numbers and risk factors, including analy-sis, evaluation, and communication with all parties involved.
  • Product and Process Quality Assurance:
    Intensification of audits on all levels of the company for the purpose of objectively monitor-ing and improving the processes and results (e.g. process audits concurrent with projects, configuration audits for monitoring the integrity of the configuration baselines).

Continuous Improvement and Development

The functioning and effectiveness of the quality management system is regularly checked with internal system audits, process audits, and product audits.

The audit results are incorporated into the management review. In addition to audit results, results from customer surveys, risk management key number analyses, and other business results are also compiled and summarized.

Management’s task is to evaluate the results at regular intervals, determine measures for improvement, and define new quality goals to improve the business processes continuously.

Juliane Ruhland