P&G's Jim Reizner outlines a high-level view of the key steps in standards development as follows:
1. Process initialization (“This can be nothing more than two people agreeing there is a common problem that a standard could address.”)
2. Finding like-minded people, with a goal of coalescing into a critical mass that enables progression to the next step.
3. Identification of vision and scope (“Nothing too complex here—use cases often determine the types of problems to solve.”)
4. Conformance to basic standards development (“This is best if done under an official standards development organization. In the U.S., we work with ANSI-approved organizations like ISA or IEEE,” he says, referencing the American National Standards Institute, the Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.)
5. Initialization of the draft standard effort (“This is when the real work starts. Once a draft effort is announced, people come out of the woodwork to become involved. Vendors especially don’t want a standard to be developed without their input and agreement.”)
Final stages include publishing of the draft with follow-on discussion, iterative refinement and final vote. Formal rules from ANSI or the International Electromechanical Commission (IEC) provide the procedural framework for these phases.
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