Monday, February 08, 2010

Standards Australia Needs New Priorities

Standards Australia Limited has issued the Discussion Paper "Project prioritisation process and criteria" (Version: 1.0, 5 February 2010) for comment. As a representative of the Australian Computer Society to standards Australia, I will be consulting the ACS on an official position. However, as an individual ICT professional I believe the SA approach to be fundamentally flawed and not addressing my needs for standards. If SA is unable, or unwilling to meet my needs, then there is no reason for myself, the organisations I belong to, or the government I elect, to continue to fund and support Standards Australia.

Standards Australia is working from a last century business model, where standards committees met around tables and then standards Australia produced printed copies of standards for sale. Standards are now made online by people around the world and distributed for free online. If Standards Australia wants to be part of this process, they need to adjust their business model to be able to support online development and distribution of standards online. I will no longer take part in a standards process if the resulting standards are not available for free online and I will avoid the use of such standards.
Table of contents
Overview... 3
1 Guiding principles.... 4
2 Process .... 4
2.1 Proposal development and submission .... 4
2.2 Assessment.... 5
2.3 PMG review and SDC approval .... 5
2.4 Project scheduling and commencement.... 6
2.5 Non-approved projects.... 6
3 Criteria.... 7
3.1 Quality .... 8
3.2 Capability.... 8
3.3 Net Benefit .... 8
3.4 Proposal profile ..... 8
3.5 Resource requirements.... 8
4 Conclusion.... 8
Appendix A: Process for evaluation of project proposals for Standards development .... 9
Appendix B: Prioritisation Criteria.... 10
Preliminary Assessment Criteria.... 10
Evaluation and Prioritisation Criteria.... 11
Resource Requirements & Costing .... 13
Appendix C: FAQs.... 14

The purpose of this document is to provide an overview of the criteria and process for the submission, assessment, selection and prioritisation of Standards development project proposals to be resourced by Standards Australia.

In November 2009, Standards Australia announced it would continue to direct its resources to the core function of Standards development through support of the following pathways:

  • Standards Australia Driven Standards Australia Driven projects must be approved for Standards Australia resourcing through the prioritisation process. This pathway primarily relies on Standards Australia’s resources, project management expertise and infrastructure. Standards Australia Driven projects require commitment and active contribution from stakeholders over a defined period of time.
  • Committee Driven Committee Driven projects may be eligible for Standards Australia resourcing through the prioritisation process but with the main contribution coming from stakeholders. Under this pathway an appropriately skilled committee, in addition to providing the subject matter expertise, will take project management and secretariat responsibility for the project.
  • Bureau Bureau projects are resourced and managed by stakeholders with minimal Standards Australia resourcing allocated through the prioritisation process. Under this pathway, a single legal entity acts as a ‘bureau’ which takes responsibility for managing the committee, its activities and projects under a formal agreement with Standards Australia.
This framework was developed in conjunction with, and has the support of, the Commonwealth Government and major member groups. In addition, the stakeholder funded Collaborative pathway is also available:
  • Collaborative The Collaborative pathway offers stakeholders choice in resourcing levels and project timeframes. Collaborative projects will be subject to the same project proposal and Net Benefit requirements and will be assessed on the same criteria, but will not be prioritised and resourced as part of the twice yearly assessment and prioritisation process.
In brief, if a proposed Standards development project can demonstrate the delivery of Net Benefit to the Australian community, and to the extent that it is unable to be resourced from any other source, it may be progressed using Standards Australia resources allocated on a priority basis in accordance with the project prioritisation process outlined in this document.

The Standards Australia resources available for development projects will be determined annually by Standards Australia’s Board, taking into account the necessity to operate on a sustainable basis. The project prioritisation and selection process will be run twice per year, in April and October. Prioritisation and selection of projects will be determined by the Standards Development Committee using the framework and criteria described in this paper.

If Standards Australia receives more proposals than it is able to support then Standards Australia will not be able to resource all proposed projects, even if they satisfy the selection criteria. Standards Australia may also choose not to provide resourcing at the level sought by any particular proposal. ...

From: Project prioritisation process and criteria" (Version: 1.0, 5 February 2010), Discussion Paper , Standards Australia Limited, Version: 1.0, 5 February 2010)