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Quality Department Priorities


Even as we were shipping the first AutoCADs, we were concerned with achieving and maintaining the highest quality standards for our products. Since our money and marketing resources were so limited, we had to rely on our reputation as the primary sales tool. Our resources also prevented us from actually starting a formal Quality department until Mauri Laitinen started full-time to undertake that task on January 4, 1984, precisely one year later.

Quality Department Priorities

by John Walker -- January 5, 1983

One of the central but almost unspoken assumptions of AI since its inception is that we would supply products of superior quality. In the software business, this is the key to survival, growth, and respect. Nobody in this company is going to say ``let's ship this shoddy junk'', but as we grow and have to support more features, more machines, and more peripherals, it becomes harder and harder to verify that every product we ship meets our intended standards of performance. Thus, in order to keep our performance in line with our intentions, we now need a Quality department which will help us achieve our goals. The Quality department is not responsible for the quality of our product--it is responsible for developing the procedures which verify that the company as a whole delivers only products which meets our standards of performance.

The following are what seem to me to be chief priorities in the establishment of a coherent quality function within Autodesk.[Footnote] All items listed below are of equal priority unless otherwise noted.

Editor: John Walker