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1.2 [DETAILS ] The Role of Standards

There are many ways to classify standards. For example, in the A-5 work-package (WP) of this project, we notably distinguish real standards, from technical specifications and best practices. In the C-3 work-package of this project, we make another type distinction regarding the scope of standards, based on the four categories of standards defined in CEN-CENELEC [2] . We will reuse this classification to structure the discussion of this section. If we restrict ourselves to the IT domain, these four categories can be expressed as follows:

  1. Fundamental standards - which concern terminology, conventions, signs and symbols, etc.;
  2. Organisation standards - which describe the functions and relationships of a company, as well as elements such as quality management and assurance, maintenance, value analysis, project or system management, etc.
  3. Specification standards - which define characteristics of a product or a service, such as interfaces (APIs), data formats, communication protocols and other interoperability features, etc.;
  4. Test methods and analysis standards - which measure characteristics of a system, describing processes and reference data for analysis.

In the following paragraphs we examine the role and value of each category of standard as a driver for accountability for organisations.