Building Blocks of a Standard
In all cases, if you really want to institute a standard, it is important to provide as many building blocks as possible. This ensures a more successful implementation of the standard. These building blocks provide a framework for establishing a standard and ensure the standard has perceived value. The building block levels are (but need not be limited to):
· Standard is defined
· Standard has an implementable practice to support it
· Standard has a policy that enforces it
· Standard is being verified that folks are complying with it
· Standard has metrics indicating the level of compliance to it
· Standard and compliance metrics are being used by senior management to manage the organization
Keep in mind, that this should be a flexible framework. The levels in between the "define" and "manage" do not have to be in the exact order. If the policy gets established before the practice to implement it, that is fine, too.
The first level is to define and document the standard that is needed for the organization. A standard is typically described as an explicit requirement that must be met. One example can be that all of the applications under development must use a specific requirements tool. Another example can be that the company must follow a set of financial processes.