Why Technical Standards are Essential in Product Development

IEEE Standards Game Mars ColonyYou may not even be aware of it, but we use standards every day. In industries from communications and media, to healthcare, construction, energy and more, standards help ensure safety, reliability and environmental care, and contribute to the enhancement of our daily lives.

Standards are published documents that establish specifications and procedures designed to ensure the reliability of the materials, products, methods, and/or services people use every day. In engineering and technology industries, technical standards establish uniform engineering or technical criteria, methods, processes and practices developed through an accredited consensus process.

Using Standards All Day, Every Day

Providing a common global language for product development, standards make it possible for cell phones to communicate with each other anywhere in the world, for bank cards to fit into any cash machine, for consumers to buy a light bulb for just about any lamp in any store, and for them to be able to plug that lamp into an electrical outlet.

Standards are everywhere and play an important role in the economy. They provide:

  • Safety and reliability. Users perceive standardized products and services as dependable, which raises user confidence, increases sales and grows technology acceptance.
  • Government policy and legislative support. Regulators and legislators refer to standards to protect user and business interests.
  • Compatibility and interoperability. When products and services comply with standards, devices work together.
  • Business benefits, such as market access, economies of scale and innovation.
  • Consumer choice. Standards provide the fundamental building blocks for product development and make it easier to understand and compare competing products. Mass production based on standards provides a greater variety of accessible products to consumers.

To learn more about technical standards and standards development, check out Mars Space Colony: A Game of Standardization. It’s the first standards development simulation game, crafted by experts with 20+ years’ experience in high-stakes, real-world technical standards development.


(14 October 2015). Imagine a world without standards. Touchstone.

Why we need standards. ETSI.



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