When it comes to technology we can all appreciate the benefit having standards. We plug many different devices into the electrical power receptacle and they all work. We listen to songs and podcasts from hundreds of publishers in MP3 format on our iPod. We can print from essentially any computer to any printer provided we’ve installed the correct printer driver to establish the interface.
Standardized technology enables interchangeability and facilitates international exchange of goods and services. It removes barriers to trade and promotes transfer of technology. It has the effect of reducing variety leading to increased economies of scale.
Standardization has the effect of increasing the availability of products and increasing the interchangeability of products that must perform together. Functional characteristics and methods of testing become widely understood spawning improvement and innovation.
The BSI Group, founded as the British Standards Committee in 1901, states it nicely:
“Standards help to make life simpler and to increase the reliability and the effectiveness of many goods and services we use.”
It’s really an easy stretch of the imagination to envision all these benefits of standardization applying to the processes and technology of project management. And when we consider the spin BSI puts on it, who wouldn’t strive for standardization in every aspect of their project management program.