The online standards development pilot groups will start using the new tool to draft standards. Participants include technical committee secretaries, assistant secretaries working groups, and maintenance team convenors, project team leaders, project leaders and experts.
The tool aims to create an online environment for standards developers to work efficiently and collaboratively, facilitate comment management in preparation for consensus gathering, as well as offer new value-added products and services that are relevant for the world of tomorrow.
“We’re really looking forward to this phase and receiving the participant feedback. It is their chance to help us make the new online tool as effective as possible for IEC standards and the broader standards development community”, said Anja Bielfeld, Business Analyst and coordinating the IEC side of the project.
The joint project with ISO and CEN/CENELEC, has reached an important milestone. Three IEC pilot groups will start using the tool to write their standards.
The groups will choose between:
- All-in-authoring – everyone in the group can create and review content by commenting. This option is probably best for small groups under 20 people, who work closely together. Comments will be resolved by group consensus and members should decide who works on what section.
- Selective authoring – selected people only can create the content and everyone can comment on it. This might be best for large groups. Permissions will manage which member can author content.
Participant feedback is key to the success of this stage. The feedback will help the project developers improve the features of the tool to make it as intuitive and useful a tool as possible.
Why change the way we write standards?
The process of drafting IEC publications, including International Standards, Technical Specifications and Technical Reports is time consuming and involves the input of many people from around the world, who contribute to the different stages.
In the current MS Word environment, authors, editors and those involved in the commenting phase face many challenges, such as versioning of documents, collaboration, resolution of commenting, maintenance of the tool (some Word features are no longer supported), lack of customization possibilities and the need to spend a lot of time on formatting, which takes the focus away from the content.
Additionally, the format does not allow semantic enrichment or single-source publishing and therefore doesn’t integrate well with a future-oriented production chain.
“There are many features in the new tool which will facilitate the drafting and editing of standards, such as automatic numbering of clauses and tables, in-line validation of the author’s referencing to published standards and contextual help concerning drafting rules. The navigation and search features make it very easy to find and edit content”, said Alisdair Menzies, Editing manager who serves as the authoring specialist in the IEC project team.
In our next update, find out more about some of the time-saving features of the new online standards development tool.