Impact of Culture Based on Human and Soft Issues on Software Quality in Pakistan

Ali Sajid
CASE, G 5/1, Islamabad, Pakistan

Hamid Nasir
Department of Engineering Management, CASE, G 5/1, Islamabad, Pakistan

Aamir Shehzad
Department of Engineering Management, CASE, G 5/1, Islamabad, Pakistan

Zeeshan Mehtab
Department of Engineering Management, CASE, G 5/1, Islamabad, Pakistan

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Ingår i: 11th QMOD Conference. Quality Management and Organizational Development Attaining Sustainability From Organizational Excellence to SustainAble Excellence; 20-22 August; 2008 in Helsingborg; Sweden

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 33:65, s. 763-772

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Publicerad: 2008-12-09


ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


Pakistans IT industry has been rising steadily since the last three years [1]. Being a relative new industry; it is struggling for maturity and better quality (140 out of 1161 companies achieved international process or product quality certifications like CMMI or ISO certifications). Most of the struggles for software quality focus on the technical aspects of development process with little or no regard to Human and soft issues [2]. These issues can be an important factor to achieve high productivity and quality. Unfortunately it is generally believed in most software companies in Pakistan that soft issues like Motivation; Job Security; Salaries and Incentives; Employees Sense of Ownership; Team Building; values; Individual Self Respect and Dignity; Open Communication; Skills Enhancements and Leadership Style are not important by respective managers. The paper analyzes the software industry of Pakistan with respect to human and soft issues. It explores whether these soft issues have considerable impact to achieve; enhance and sustain productivity and quality. If yes; then how these issues relate to quality; and if not then how its influence could be highlighted to the policy makers.

Value of Research: This study will help the software development companies; especially in Pakistan to identify the key cultural human issues and will help them to transform the organizations culture toward better environment that would be the indicator of better quality.

Purpose: The aim of this paper is to analyze the role of human and soft issues for achieving better quality. This study will explore how software companies can consider these issues that could help them to strive for inexpensive; yet least known ways to achieve product quality. Findings of this study will also assist Pakistani software houses in increasing the productivity of their employees. It will also enable organizations to realize the importance of Cultural and Human issues in their working environment.

Research Methodology: Commonly practiced research method was used for analyses. A comprehensive survey was conducted in selective software houses operating in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. This survey focused on identifying the soft factors satisfaction level in the software industry of Pakistan.

This research will compare the cultural and soft issues in different categories (organizations with quality certification; organization without quality certification and such companies which are reputed well in the IT industry) of the software industry and then shows the impact of these factors on the productivity and quality of the work of the employees. To generalize the results the culture; values and trends at these companies could also be catered. Moreover; the labor laws regarding these soft issues should also be considered while generalizing and implementing these results. The study will also define all soft and human issues.

Research Findings: On the basis of survey instrument; available literature regarding subject and discussion we have so for; we found the followings results.

  • Along with the process improvement work environment conditions can effectively be used for performance and quality improvement.
  • Emerging IT industries can rapidly get maturity in quality by addressing human related problems
  • Organizations in our software industry which are considered better places to work; are giving more attention to human related issues
  • Salaries and benefits that do not satisfy employee basic needs; cause dissatisfaction to employee which leads to major human resource issues that at crucial project time may result in low productivity and low quality
  • Training and skill enhancements are not practiced satisfactorily in our industry which is also causing poor performance
  • Leadership’s role practiced here is still supervisory instead of facilitator which is also a major obstacle in low productivity and hence quality.


Software quality; Soft issues; Human issues



[2] Steve McConnell. Quantifying Soft Factors: IEEE Software November / December 2000.

[3] Giovanni Asproni. Motivation; Teamwork; and Agile Development; Agile Time; Vol. 4; February 2004.

[4] Ali Haider. Software Productivity: The Impact of Soft Factors.

[5] Sarah Beecham; Tracy Hall; Nathan Baddoo; Hugh Robinson2; Helen Sharp. The Motivation of Software Engineers: Developing a Rigorous and Usable Model

[6] www.actioninsight.com/Article13.htm accessed on: 22-05-2008

[7] www.vethelpconsulting.com/staff.PDF

[8] http://www.12manage.com/methods_herzberg_two_factor_theory.html

[9] www.vethelpconsulting.com/staff.PDF

[10] M. M. Peat. The human factor: A missing element in quality management; Transformation on Information and Communication Technologies; Vol.4

[11] Ellen Lancer May. Are People your Priority? Healthcare Executive; July /August 2004.


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