This Chapter presents an inventory of available standardization methods and discusses their applicability. In general, FSOs do not use special methods for standards development other than the formal procedures and the text format for the standard.1 Standards users do not expect FSOs to use such methods.2 “Standards for standards,” such as the British standard BS 0 (BSI, 1997a, -b and -c), the French NF X 00-01 (AFNOR, 1993), and the German DIN 820 (DIN Deutsches Institut für Normung, 1986; 1994a and -b; and 1996) do not take into account methods either.3 In the field of information and communication technology, some specialist methods are used (Sinnott & Turner, 1995).


Interested Party Quality Function Deployment Standardization Committee Standard Development Draft Standard 
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  1. 1.
    At first sight, ETSI offers an exception by listing quality criteria for standards (ETSI Guide EG 201 014 V 1.1.1., ETSI, 1997a), and providing a methodology for validation of standards (ETSI Guide EG 201 015 V1.1.1., ETSI, 1997b). EG 201 014 is directed at achieving technical quality, which means meeting the basic objectives for which the standards were designed. A major objective of telecommunications standardization is interconnection and interoperability, so the standard should work when implemented. The quality criteria listed in the standard should guarantee this, but the guide does not describe how. The validation techniques laid down in EG 201 015, when used at the appropriate time, help avoid flawed standards that need long correction cycles (many flaws are not detected before the Public Enquiry) and become available too late as a result. EG 201 015 provides a methodology for validating standards which use the Specification and Description Language (SDL) laid down in a recommendation by the International Telecommunication Union to specify their function. Thus, this guide does not provide a method for developing standards either, only for testing them once concepts have been developed. It can be concluded that ETSI does not offer a methodology for standards development, but only two elements.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    This is reflected in the American Recommended Practice for Standards Designation and Organization (SES, 1995) and the German guideline for participants in European standardization committees (Ausschuß Normenpraxis im DIN, 1995).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Some ISO TCs have developed standards for the layout of specific standards, for instance, for methods of microbiological examination (ISO, 1983), and chemical analysis (ISO, 1982).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    DIN found 200 different definitions of the term Nennspannung in its standards (DIN Memorandum AK-NG 206, cited by Susanto, 1987, p.29).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    ISO, 1994c and ISO, 1994d, respectively.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    These data could also be interpreted differently, namely as an illustration of the force of rational arguments within committees. In both cases, opponents did not refute the committee’s arguments, but simply did not accept them. In the first case, they did so by ignoring the standard, in the second case, by accepting a method that could be regarded as a de facto standard that was rejected by the TC. A problem with this interpretation, however, is that the arguments would be valid within committees only and not outside them.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Both examples are from user-directed standardization. The mechanism might be less important or even absent in standardization activities directed at achieving consensus between suppliers.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Sources: personal communication by Mr. A. de Groot, who at the time was manager of the Department Standardization and Organization, Akzo Nobel Engineering, Arnhem, and Mr. H.C. van den Elzen (1), responsible at the time for Standardization Methodology and Production & Information Services at Concern Standardization Department, Philips International, Eindhoven.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Aku was one of the founding companies of Akzo, which merged with Nobel to form Akzo Nobel, a Dutch/Swedish multinational chemical industry.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    An — unconscious — application of Blom’s method is Mahesh’s feasibility study on a modular approach of standards to determine heavy metals in environmental samples (Mahesh, 1995; NNI, 1995a).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sometimes, there is no real problem, but an existing situation may need to be improved. In such cases, it must be determined what could be improved how, and how standardization could contribute to the improvement.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    To the steps described by Bouma and Winter (1982), insights from Winter (1991, p. 22) have been added.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    The use of this ‘building block’ principle in standardization was also described by Sumner (1981, pp. 9, 14–18).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    An example of this is offered by Barnett (1993), who describes standard parts management at the Boeing Company.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    See Section 3.4 and Annex 1. NNI holds 7 of the ISO’s 180 TC secretariats (ISO, 1998f) and 17 of CEN’s 262 TC secretariats (Nederlands Normalisatie-instituut, 1998a).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    However, a Dutch employers’ organization expressed criticism that NNI, using this method, creates its own market: parties that were not aware of standardization do not only reach awareness, but are persuaded to participate in standardization. Here, one can argue that it is up to organizations in the market to decide whether or not they are willing to participate; the strategic study provides them with arguments for such a decision.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    In another publication, Winter pays attention to the first three remaining aspects (Winter, 1990).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Koehorst, De Vries and Wubben (1998) provide an example of this.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    This is the opinion of suppliers that use Akzo Nobel’s standards when working for that company, but use other standards when working for other companies (source: personal communication by Michiel Oly en Florens Slob, who carried out a benchmarking study on company standardization in Dutch process industries (Oly & Slob, 1999).Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Formats for standards can be found in, among others, AFNOR (1993), BSI (1997c), DIN Deutsches Institut für Normung (1996b), ISO (1982 and 1983) and Standards Engineering Society (1995).Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    IEC recently expressed the need for this. Their Masterplan 1996 (IEC, 1996b, p. 7) says a systems approach is necessary to related technologies. This is particularly important in the areas of global information networks and multimedia, but also in the more traditional field of power transmission networks it is needed to obtain better co-ordination and coherence among the product standards issued by various committees. Most of the above methods are examples of such a systems approach.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Object orientation is described by, amongst others, Van der Goor, Brinkkemper & Hong (1993), Van Hilligersberg (1997), and Kuijs et al. (1996). This method is used increasingly in software development. Applied to standardization, both standards, the entities concerned, and (sic!) the different stakeholders can be regarded as objects that are related to each other and fulfil functions for each other. The approach is very complicated and, therefore, should only be considered for very complicated standards architectures, such as those necessary in multimedia. The main advantages may be the rate of coherence that can be achieved, and the sturdiness of the standards collection in meeting unpredictable future developments.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Introductions in quality function deployment can be found, among others, in Akao (1990) and Hauser & Clausing (1988). This method might be applied to systematically honour customer needs in standards development.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henk J. de Vries
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Rotterdam School of ManagementErasmus University RotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Nederlands Normalisatie InstituutDelftThe Netherlands

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