Improvements in NSO Standards Development

  • Henk J. de Vries


Whereas previous chapters described and analyzed NSO services related to standards development, this chapter aims at deriving or just suggesting improvements. Its structure is the same as Chapter 5. Topics analyzed in that chapter are discussed in order to arrive at preferred solutions. Topics from Chapters 2, 3, and 4 have been added, including the main topic of the services offered. These topics fit into the same sections structure, resulting in some additional subsections.


Project Management Committee Member Interested Party Standardization Committee Standard Development 
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  1. 1.
    These are customers that pay more than NLG 25000 per year for participation in standardization committees, plus some additional customers that are “very important” for other reasons.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    CEN, however, does the opposite by stating: WAs will be published under the CEN logo. By giving the product such a seal of approval, the market knows that the output has a quality similar to other deliverables produced by the highly-reputed European standardization organizations (CEN, 1998).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    “Normal” standard: standard developed using the normal FSO procedures.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    This is stricter than CEN's requirements for Workshop Agreements and CENELEC’s requirements for European Specifications: they state that WAs/ESs should not conflict with provisions of European standards (ENs), but may compete with them (ISO/TMB WG ‘PAS’, 1997, p. 2).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Assumed that FSOs really perform the five-yearly review. In practice they fail at this point (see Subsection 3.2.2).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    IEC offers possibilities for organizations which can make an effective technical contribution to participate as full members in a WG or project group (a Category D liaison — see Raeburn, 1997).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    IEC decides on PASs by means of a written voting procedure between Participating IEC members.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Examples include the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the Society of Automotive Engineers International (SAEI), the National Information Standards Organization (NISO — standards for libraries, publishing and information science), and the American Petroleum Institute (API — standards for the petrochemical industry) (Toth (Ed.), 1996).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    It is common habit to use average. However, the time needed for the slowest 5% of the standards exceeds the average by several years and this, conversely, is not the case with the fastest 5%. Therefore, the median gives a better indication of the time needed for most of the standards.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Standardization officers, therefore, should have skills in personal time management and multiproject management. Wijnen (1997) offers guidance for this.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    In 1972, the German Standardization Handbook already paid attention to the use of network planning techniques (Krieg, 1972). However, it did not provide an explicit link to standardization. Hesser (1992) applied project management to international and national standardization.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Therefore, NNI organized a training in time management for its officers (1985), has let some of its new employees attend a course on this topic since then, and is considering a new general training (sources: own experience, personal communication of Mrs. E.P. van der Valk, Personnel Manager, NNI).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Another solution to avoid waiting for standards due to translations is tc issue the standard in the original language as soon as possible and to come up with a translated version some months later.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Recently ISO, IEC, CEN, CENELEC, ETSI, AFNOR, BSI, and DIN developed a harmonized stage codes system (Wilson, 1998).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    In this subsection the draft international standard ISO 10006 Quality management — Guidelines to project management (ISO, 1996c) has been used.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Source: own experience.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    At NNI, for instance, each officer has a “shadow-partner” who more or less knows what is going on in his colleague’s committees. He is able to take over the most urgent things in case of absence.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    In this subsection, the international standard ISO 10007 Quality management — Guidelines for configuration management (ISO, 1995a) has been used.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Several NNI colleagues experienced the latter in international and regional standardization.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    This is one of the measures taken by DIN to improve the efficiency (Reihlen, 1997, p. 771). It is also BSI’s policy (BSI, 1997b, Subsection 5.5.6).Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    BT = Bureau Technique: CEN’s Technical Board.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    CEFIC = Conseil Européen de l’Industry Chimique [European Chemical Industry Council].Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    ORGALIME = Organisme de Liaison des Industries Métallique Européennes (contact body for engineering industry associations).Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    CEN/CS = CEN’s Central Secretariat. Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    De Vries and Schipper (1997) provide examples of this in other service sectors, such as accountancy, insurance business, public education, and health care services.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Actors may be locked in an SDO network structure that only partly meets their needs. This might apply to the SDO network in EDI standardization, presented in Subsection 2.2.4.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    This is current practice in Germany (DIN Deutsches Institut für Normung, 1994a, Clause 3.4) and the Netherlands (Nederlands Normalisatie-instituut, 1994, Clauses 9.2.1 and 10.1) and also at an international level (ISO/IECa, 1995, pp. 8–10). In the United Kingdom, however, the secretary is a member of the committee (BSI, 1997b, Clause 6.9.3). If an NSO officer takes the chair, NSO (and ISO/IEC) rules prescribe that he is a member of the committee.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    A correspondent member is normally an organization in a developing country which does not yet have its own NSO. Correspondent members do not take an active part in the technical work, but are entitled to be kept fully informed about the work of interest to them. Subscriber memberships are intended for countries with very small economies. Subscriber members pay reduced membership fees that nevertheless allow them to maintain contact with international standardization (ISO/IEC, 1995b, p. 6). IEC has associate and pre-associate members (IEC, 1998b, p. 10).Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    In a study about standardization of colours in the textile industry in 19th-century Europe, NietoGalan (1997) concludes that improvements in the possibilities for travelling enabled standardization at the European level. The role of single individuals from different countries was endorsed by close communication among them. Nowadays, not only ICT, but also the relative fall of prices of aeroplane tickets, makes it easier to standardize at an international level.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Short introductions to Internet Standardization are offered by Cargill (1997, pp. 255–261), Pitner (1997), and Schmidt & Werle (1998, pp. 53–56).Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    IEC (1998f) lists ICT tools and services currently available to the IEC community. A Guide on the use of information technology tools in the IEC can be downloaded from the IEC’s website (IEC, 1998e).Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Exploratory studies should also be carried for standardization projects at the international level. Current ISO and IEC rules for justification of proposals for the establishment of standards (Raeburn, 1998e, pp. 2–3, 7; ISO, 1981) do not suffice, provided that they are applied, which, in case of ISO, hardly happens.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    BSI introduced a new procedure for accepting work proposals and allocating resources to the standardization programme, which to a certain extent resembles the above (BSI, 1995).Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    According to the Secretary-General of ISO, the challenge for NSOs is to make sure to catch the international train before it leaves the station. For many NSOs this means that fundamental changes are needed, and soon (Eicher, 1998).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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