Can a company follow agile and quality management hand in hand? Because Agile says focus on people instead of processes and tools, be flexible, focus on minimizing documentation, etc.

But a quality management process, like ISO, says to focus on process, standardize everything, document all records, etc. There are many conflicts between both methodologies.

So can a company following Agile implement and get quality certifications?


1 Answer 1


I looked at the link @Willl provided, and there are some interesting comments there.

If we take Scrum, as one of the Agile project models/frameworks, it has structure, artifacts (documentation) and so on, so if your company declares in steering documents that you should for certain types of projects use Scrum, it would suffice either link to a generic model or document your version.

As the best answer to @Willl's provided link above, an auditor asks:

  • What are you doing?
  • How do you know what you should be doing?
  • And then there should be some mathching documentation.

If a developer/tester is working on something, it should be documented in the Scrum Product Backlog on a high level, the Scrum Sprint Backlog on an intermediate level (as of working in the current Sprint) and also be on more detailed level, either in form of post-its in the Scrum Planning room or even written as tasks in for example Jira/Confluence. If you really follow the Scrum methodology it should also be part of the Scrum Burndown chart.

Thereby, you have documentation on all levels to satisfy ISO9001, so if you have any arguments of why Scrum can't coexist with ISO9001, you are probably not using Scrum (Agile) as it was intended.

Also, Scrum/Agile must not be an argument for not documenting requirements and other important documentation.

  • We have documentation in scrum.. but agile manifesto says "Working software over comprehensive documentation" .. It says minimize documentation not avoid, i understand that.. But ISO says document all records right ?? So will an ISO body accepts those minimized documents ??
    – iArunraj
    Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 6:03
  • No, ISO doesn't say you have to document every detail. As long as the company have documentation that states you are using a certain model (process) for certain types of projects, in this case Agile, and use the model documentation (for Scrum, the artifacts) as they are meant, you know what you are supposed to work with. If you do what you are supposed to do, according to the plan, ISO can not disapprove. Your company should probably have even more strict rules than ISO regarding documentation, since it is good if you comment your code, tests and follow up on requirement fulfillment.
    – Pixic
    Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 16:23
  • Regarding requirement fulfillment, ISO can actually have something to say have about that, since that is like a check list to fulfill. But for me, that is a "no brainer", that you need to check that your application/system fulfills the requirements that you have agreed and committed to. Otherwise you would probably get angry users/customers.
    – Pixic
    Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 17:44

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