Ready – Set – Slow: A View from Inside a CEN Working Group

Ready – Set – Slow: A View from Inside a CEN Working Group

Jürgen Wehnert (urbane ressourcen, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-938-0.ch008


There is one thing most people seem to know about standardisation: It is slow. While innovation rates and product cycles grow shorter the principal mechanisms for making standards has not changed a lot over the years. This is at least true for the official standardisation bodies which are based on voluntary work and consensus building. Industry initiatives, however, can work with different targets, timing, and funding. The chapter investigates the standard making from within the very working groups which actually develop standards. The example from within Europe’s CEN shows why standard making is slow and what could be done about it. A lot boils down to management issues and funding, but also to industry interest and EU policies. One thing is for sure: The members of standardisation working groups do not delay standard making on purpose, but are part of a system which requires a certain degree of revision and innovation.

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