Re: Is there a standard to aspire to?
By comparison, with programming/software development I'm guessing there aren't the same drivers to make an accredited output.
You could specify, for example, some subset of DO-178B; the very act of going through that process would focus the team onto software assurance. It need even not be completed - just thinking about QA is a huge step forward for many groups.
But you're unlikely to get this in consumer software; management are always worried about time-to-market, so this sort of overhead is frequently considered "bad for business". So it doesn't get done.
 Unsurprisingly, cutting corners everywhere usually leads to shoddy development practices, which actually *increase* time-to-market; a little more discipline in the planning stage would reap rewards when it comes to getting the product out of the door. As an old colleague of mine used to say, "A weeek's worth of keyboard-bashing can sometimes preclude the need for an hour's thought".
 It always amazes me how certain types of management always think that timing is everything - so they'll happily release utter crap, so long as it releases on time. I've yet to meet a customer who's been pleased to accept a steaming pile of turds on the appointed day...
 I keep coming across dev teams who claim to be "agile"; I've rarely seen proper agile development. "Agile" means you accept the need for some spec changes in the light of (frequent) customer feedback; most teams I've met seem to think it means "Don't bother with specs, designs, or documentation, just get typing" :-(