At the last ACOSM conference, 2 presenters explained how ISO/IEC standards were used to check a supplier’s estimates and replace a current supplier who was shown to be high risk. Other standards have been used to identify which potential supplier could be a higher risk for delivering a service – and how to close the gaps, before the supplier starts work.

Procurement agencies may recognise that using universal measures, e.g. ISO/IEC gives everyone the same scoresheet, examiners from credible institutions and ‘graduates’ with a higher awareness of how to deliver the right thing and what the right thing looks like. With the pace of technology change, products have similar functionality, software engineering is becoming commoditised (with freelancers being hired online) and customer service is everyone’s mantra. The differentiator is how you deliver.

Consistent delivery requires experience embedded in organisational DNA. Organisational DNA represented by selected processes at a specified capability level. But capability level is not recognised in tender criteria documents. Criteria can include experience. This usually consists of case studies. However, case studies are not measurable. They may be a one-off individual or team experience, not organisational DNA-style experience.

Next time you choose a supplier, think about testing out the DNA. You could get different situations ISO/IEC 15504 “process instances” measured.

Organisations that conform to standards strengthen their DNA as the standards evolve with each new release.

Standards development isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but neither is testing, executive management or customer service. Fortunately, we have people who appreciate standards development, so we can experience the results!

QESP committee members have been associated with standards development since at least 1998.

Around 200 international experts are coming to Sydney in June to work on standards for testing, business process outsourcing, lifecycle processes and their assessment, governance, IT service management and measurement, among others. Standards are influenced by changes in the environment (such as cloud) and country contributions (such as AS 8015 that became ISO/IEC 38500).

For a taste of work in progress and their application, register to attend the Disrupting Technology Management summit on 19 June to hear from some of our visitors. If you are interested in participating in future standards development, please contact QESP committee members, Melanie Cheong or Ted Smillie.

(Editor’s Note:  Also see Engineering Standards Experts of SC7 coming to Sydney for the first time in 28 years  for more about the SC7 Plenary in June and about the Disrupting Technology Management summit on 19 June.)