What is a standard?

A standard is a set of guidelines that define the expected behavior or quality for a particular process, product, or service. Teams follow formal standards to ensure that everyone working on a project follows the same rules and expectations to meet their goals efficiently and effectively. Having standards allows teams to work towards shared objectives with greater clarity, accuracy, and consistency.

Who sets and updates these standards?

Typically, standards are set and updated by professional organizations, such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) or The Open Group. These organizations have global teams of experts who create and maintain these standards. Additionally, many governments have committees that work towards establishing national or industry-specific standards.

What are the benefits of adhering to a standard?

Adhering to a standard allows teams to get more out of their work and achieve better results. Using standards helps teams stay on the same page, reduces confusion, avoids duplication of effort, and speeds up development time. Furthermore, clear objectives make it easier for everyone to assess progress and identify areas where improvement is needed. Additionally, many customers look to work with teams that have been audited and certified to a particular standard.

How do you adopt a standard?

Adopting a standard can be done in several steps.

  1. First, it's essential to understand the project's goals and what standard would best meet those objectives.

  2. Once that is established, teams should research and compare various standards to find one that fits their needs.

  3. Next, teams should evaluate their resources and determine how much time and effort they are willing to devote to meeting the standard.

  4. Finally, organizations should implement their chosen standard by developing a plan of action, assigning tasks, and setting deadlines.

Each standard has its own criteria to meet, so teams must understand the requirements and have the resources to meet them.

What are some of the most used digital standards?

Some of the most popular digital standards include:

  • ISO 9001 (Quality Management)

  • ISO/IEC 20000 (IT Service Management)

  • ISO/IEC 27001 (Information Security Management)

  • PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)

  • NIST 800-53 (National Institute of Standards and Technology Information Security Management)

  • GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)

Other frequently used standards include:

  • The TOGAF Standard

  • IT4IT (Information Technology for Information Technology)

  • OpenDSS (Open Digital Standards System)

  • CompTIA Channel Standard for IT Service Providers

  • CompTIA Channel Standard for Managed IT Services

  • ISO/IEC 38500 (Corporate Governance of IT)


By following these standards, teams can ensure that their digital projects are secure and reliable. Adopting the proper standard will help them meet their goals and provide value to their customers by giving confidence in their products and services.

Adhering to standards also improves customer satisfaction by offering consistent quality across all aspects of the project. Doing so ensures that clients get the best experience possible, leading to increased trust in their team and better customer relationships. In addition, groups that meet or exceed a chosen standard often see improved performance and reputation in their industry. Having standards in place is a significant asset to any organization, helping them achieve their mission.