When and How to Launch a Standards Consortium

“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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