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When and How to Launch a Standards Consortium

Nov 16, 2010, 21:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Andy Updegrove)

"Abstract: The last twenty-five years have been marked by an explosion of consortia formed to develop, promote and/or otherwise support standards enabling information and communications technology. The reasons for forming a new consortium, as compared to adding to the work program of an existing body, include the absence in such organizations of appropriate technical expertise, interest, and/or supporting programs, as well as the benefits to be gained from directing all of the resources and efforts of a new consortium to the achievement of a set of specific objectives. This article reviews the benefits to be obtained from launching a new consortium, the criteria that should be used to determine whether doing so is appropriate, the programs and functionalities available for achieving specific goals, and the stages of institutional maturity at which each function should be added in order to accomplish a new organization's mission.

"One of the most successful innovations of the past twenty-five years in the area of collaborative development has been the application of the "consortium" concept to the area of standards creation and promotion. Almost overnight, this inherently flexible approach was adopted by scores, and then hundreds, of ad hoc, self-selecting cadres of stakeholders (usually product or service vendors) to develop, promote and maintain thousands of new standards in the fast-paced information and communications technology (ICT) industry."

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