Using Voluntary Consensus Standards

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The availability of voluntary consensus standards allows them to do just that. The use of voluntary consensus standards allows the federal agencies to manage their IT staff and contractors better by setting a consistent level of expectations for them and the agency program manager. The OMB Circular does not specify the method by which the agencies are to implement the directive to use voluntary consensus standards. Rather the OMB Circular leaves it up to each federal agency to determine the best way to implement the requirement.

This paper has defined four models (Directive, Project, Consensus, Hybrid) that can be implemented. In addition this paper has described some advantages and disadvantages of each model. It is up to the agency to identify the model that best suits its needs and its culture. Once the agency has selected this model, they may desire to use an outside contractor to develop the process and procedures required for implementation.

About the Author Eva Freund is the President and founder of The IV&V Group, Inc. She has over 20 years of verification and validation including planning, monitoring and controlling IV&V programs for numerous Federal government agencies. Ms Freund is an active participant on the PIEEE 1012 (Standard for System Verification and Validation) Working Group which is broadening the current Standard for Verification and Validation to include the System and Hardware perspectives. She served as Vice‐Chair of the IEEE 829 (Standard for Software and System Test Documentation) Working Group which was responsible for the publication of IEEE 829-2008. Ms. Freund has an undergraduate degree in Business Management from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a graduate degree in Organization Development from Goddard College. She is designated by IEEE as a Certified Software Development Professional and by ASQ as a Certified Software Quality Engineer.

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