Standardization

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Standardization or standardisation is the process of developing and agreeing upon technical standards. A standard is a document that establishes uniform engineering or technical specifications, criteria, methods, processes, or practices. Some standards are mandatory while others are voluntary. Voluntary standards are available if one chooses to use them. Some are de facto standards, meaning a norm or requirement which has an informal but dominant status. Some standards are de jure, meaning formal legal requirements. Formal standards organizations, such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) or the American National Standards Institute, are independent of the manufacturers of the goods for which they publish standards.

The use of Standardization is to implement guidelines, a design, or measurements in order to obtain solutions to an otherwise disorganized system.

The goals of standardization can be to help with independence of single suppliers (commoditization), compatibility, interoperability, safety, repeatability, or quality.

In social sciences, including economics, the idea of standardization is close to the solution for a coordination problem, a situation in which all parties can realize mutual gains, but only by making mutually consistent decisions. Standardization is defined as best technical application consentual wisdom inclusive of processes for selection in making appropriate choices for ratification coupled with consistent decisions for maintaining obtained standards. This view includes the case of "spontaneous standardization processes", to produce de facto standards.

Contents

Usage

Standardization is the process of establishing a technical standard, which could be a standard specification, standard test method, standard definition, standard procedure (or practice), etc.

The existence of a published standard does not necessarily imply that it is useful or correct. Just because an item is stamped with a standard number does not, by itself, indicate that the item is fit for any particular use. The people who use the item or service (engineers, trade unions, etc) or specify it (building codes, government, industry, etc) have the responsibility to consider the available standards, specify the correct one, enforce compliance, and use the item correctly. Validation of suitability is necessary.

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