What goes into developing a standard?
It’s a journey, not a sprint. Many people participate or want to participate. You spend most of your time negotiating.
The reward? A set of steps, requirements, solutions, guidances, and more that you and many more people have agreed to and plan on following.
Think of it, every credit card you’ve ever owned as been one size. One. specific. size. Why? Because it’s standardized so that any credit card ready, anywhere, will work with your credit card. The same is true for most household doors, the height of cabinets, the types of outlets and voltages you’ll find at hotels.
Standardization is a long process, taking up to 2-3 years to complete. The resulting standards can be simple, 1-2 pages in length, or complex technical documents. Those standards (e.g. guides, methods, processes, procedures, specifications and more) are then used by conformity assessment bodies (CABs) as part of oversight programs such as testing for safety and certifying proper function. The whole process can be voluntary, mandatory, or a combination of both.
Behind all those steps and sometimes, great complexity, lies stories of frustration, triumph, learning, and growth.
The following articles look behind the curtain to provide an insider’s look at published and draft standards, regulations, and guides; their development; and outcomes.
Chairing an ISO Committee – webinar presentation by Kate Dolan
Body Armor for Women – By Cassy Robinson, National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Setting the Standard in AI – Federal Engagement in Developing Standards
Working as a Female Technical Officer in an International Standards Development Organization – by Marianna Kramarikova, Technical Officer at IEC
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