24. When should a project start to think about standardization

Once you have decided your project should interface with standards bodies, it becomes important to include activities for these interactions as part of the project work plan. There are different aspects to be considered such as timing of interactions, the formal mechanisms that enable interactions, and the tasks that are needed to effectively contribute to standards.

24.1 Timing of interactions

Progressing your project’s deliverables through the standardization process can be a time-consuming process. Although there may be – depending on the nature of the input you intend to deliver, as well as on the type of standard you decide to pursue – ways to achieve your goals within 6-12 months, mostly standardisation processes will take longer and require between 1 and 3 years.

Your project will however have a limited lifespan and will most likely not be able to allocate resources to standards work beyond that lifespan. In order to safeguard ongoing standardization work from falling apart after the completion of your project contract, you will either have to:

For these reasons it is recommended to plan interfacing with standards organizations at the beginning of your project’s activities. Even though your deliverables will not be available yet, it will help you synchronize with relevant ongoing standardization processes, and start the process of building the consensus required in order to achieve the goals you are pursuing.

Postponing this interfacing until your standardization deliverables are completed – usually towards the end of your project – will delay the standardization process and increase the ‘standardization gap’ between the end of your project and the availability of standards resulting from it.

24.2 Formal mechanisms for interaction between research and standardization

Planning your project's interaction with standards processes requires an evaluation whether (temporary) membership of the targeted organization is desirable, or necessary to obtain the desired outcome. Once you have decided that the best way to participate is through membership, it is advisable to evaluate whether the project itself should in fact obtain a membership of the organisation, or whether the project's standardization activities should be pursued through one of it's consortium partner's membership, as the evaluation of pros and cons associated with either of the two options may be determined by your project's specific circumstances.

24.3 Tasks

Once the decision has been made by a project to interface with standardization, the type of tasks that might be included in a standardisation work package are listed below. Carefully consider which of the tasks outlined should be part of your project and how much resources are appropriate for each task, given the specific technologies from your project and the standards bodies you intend to target.

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See also

  1. How do I embed standardization activities in my project'swork plan
  2. How should my project initiate a new standardization process
  3. What if there's no standards organization that is able to address my project's output

Created by Bart Brusse & Rigo Wenning
last updated $Date: 2006/11/03 14:19:28 $