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Standards as Strategic Tools


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How familiar are you with your industry's standards? Discover the benefits of using the expertise of your profession to establish benchmarks for best practice.

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Standards as Strategic Tools

  1. 1. S TA N D A R D S A S S T R AT E G I C TO O L S
  2. 2. ST ANDARDS AS STRATEG IC TOOL S ~ Share This! ~ Post this to your blog, Twitter™, LinkedIn® or Delicious™ accounts or email this to someone who might enjoy it. Share Remix Attribute Share Alike 11639 E. Wethersfield Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85259 USA Toll-free: 877-614-84402Page © 2010 by Michaels & Associates Docntrain, Ltd. dba Michaels & Associates Copyright holder is licensing this under the Creative Commons License, Attribution-Share Alike 3.0. For more information, check out
  3. 3. ST AN D AR D S AS STRATEG IC TOOL SS TA N D A R D S S H O U L D B E A C E N T R A LC O M P O N E N T O F A N Y S T R AT E G YToo often, many companies and business personnel overlook the significanceof standards. Standards use the expertise of the industry and the profession toestablish benchmarks for best practice. When properly implemented,optimization of resources—human and technological—is at the core ofstandards. 3 Page
  4. 4. ST ANDARDS AS STRATEG IC TOOL S Standards Standards Organizations Do you recognize any of these logos? They belong to just a few of the standards organizations for our industry. Standards are guidelines and processes that establish the "recommended" approach to a task or activity. Industries agree on standards relevant to their products and services, and these benchmarks evolve over time. The World Standards Services Network (WSSN) functions as a clearinghouse for standards. It provides a more comprehensive definition of "standard": "[A standard is a] document, established by consensus and approved by a recognized body, that provides, for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context." How familiar are you with your industry’s standards? There are many good benefits to employing them within your organization.4Page
  5. 5. ST AN D AR D S AS STRATEG IC TOOL SBenefit 1: Standards facilitate optimal products.When employees have standards to follow, they can focus on the task at hand. They can produce product instead of troubleshooting product. Byimplementing industry standards, they can use a process that has already been tested, refined, and known to yield results.Without standards, employees spend time solving recurring problems.Productivity falls.Benefit 2: Standards promote participation, coherence andconsensus.Incorporating a valid standard takes input—vertically and horizontally—within an organization. This can improve employee andinterdepartmental relationships, because the process requires teamworkand consensus.Benefit 3: Standards encourage ongoing evaluation andimprovement.Standards are not meant to be a straitjacket approach to conductingbusiness. Solid standards are flexible enough to grow with a companyand its employees. Since standards stem from numerous real-worldexperiences, they naturally evolve with technology and employeeingenuity. 5 Page
  6. 6. ST ANDARDS AS STRATEG IC TOOL S Benefit 4: Standards are rapidly becoming a necessity. In a marketplace that is increasingly global, standards can give a company competitive advantage. Employing standards can also increase a businesss productivity and profitability. Benefit 5: Standards are a strategic choice. Standards are not meant to be a straitjacket approach to conducting business. Solid standards are flexible enough to grow with a company and its employees. Since standards stem from numerous real-world experiences, they naturally evolve with technology and employee ingenuity. Your company has a choice regarding standards.  You can ignore standards: Stratify the work environment and create a setting where employees busily invent and re-invent tasks and procedures within their limited sphere of influence. This lack of standards can be costly.  Or, you can use standards to your fullest advantage: Openly assess your business activities, encouraging knowledge transfers among departments and supporting the development and implementation of applicable standards. Standards are a strategic choice.6Page
  7. 7. ST AN D AR D S AS STRATEG IC TOOL SAt Michaels & Associates, we work hard to keep current on trends and standards within our industry. If you are interested in learning more,contact us to see how these standards can help your organization. Michaels & Associates—where you have a friend in the learning business. toll-free: 877-614-8440 7 Page