Standards development


Standards are developped through a collaborative process. While they may initial result from the ad Hoc effort of a person or group of idividuals, to become a standard a document needs to be accepted from a larger comunity. Often, when standards are developped by international or large standard developpement organisations (SDO), they emerge from the consensus of the group throgh a process of meetings and ballots. This is not the case here at WikiNörm.

The intention here is to promote collaborative development with the use of technology, in particular Wikis, in a manner similar to how web sites such as Wikipedia have evoved and in the spirit of what is described in the book Wikinomics. As well the intention is for an open attitude of sharing for the greater good, akin to Aristotian ethical values. Those who do not agree to these principles should develop standards in international standards organisations, not here.

The process

The simple process that is promoted here has two or three steps, depending of how you define them. There are two basic steps: writing a standard document and publishing it. The third step, an intermediate one, is the developpement of a consensus, or general agreement, that the document that was written is worthy of being published as a standard. There is no long or formal multi-step ballot process in the hope of achieving a 'perfect' document. As perfect is not of this world, some would say, WikiNörm wants to publish imperfect documents that will get better over time, with the contribution of all. Over time, perfection may emerge or, more likely, a more realistic and evolutive document will provide the best solutions for the most people. This allows for the rapid production of documents that may serve the evolving requirements of the masses, rather that taking five years to produce a document that will already be obsolete when it is published. Therefore a two step process is proposed.

Step 1: write the document

This step starts, generally, with a single individual who has an idea for a document he wants to propose. The initial draft, or proposed, is written and published on the WikiNörm site as a draft document. Once this is done other participants and the global community are invited to discuss the document on the forum, in a polite and respectful fashion until there is a general consensus. During that process, individual may submit changes, amendments or improvements to the document, always using the WikiNörm site. Because there has to be some form of leadership to manage the potential cahos, an individual, identified as the Project Editor, or PE, overviews the process. There is no time limit or particular constraints to how long this step may, or must, last. It ends when the general consensus is found. Througout this step, the document is available to all. As well, all discussions are publicly available on WikiNörm.

Step 2: publish the document

Once step 1 is completed to the satisfaction of the PE, then the document is ready to be published officially. All that is missing to the document already existing is a WikiNörm Standard Number, or WSN, for the document to become official. This is done by WikiNörm at the request of the PE. At that time, the official document is moved to it's own page and becomes the official approved version.

The document may continue to evolve in the discussions area until it becomes time to publish a new version, once a new consensus has been created.

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