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NIST Develops New Methodology for Standards Analysis


New York, Jun 18, 2013

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently released a document outlining a new problem-solving methodology intended to ease the process of designing and implementing voluntary consensus standards.

Known as Framework for Analysis, Comparison, and Testing of Standards (FACTS), the new methodology uses a matrix format to ease the process of analyzing a proposed or existing standard in light of its scope, function, motivation, and other relevant characteristics. It could potentially be used both to clarify goals during the development of a standard and to provide insight into issues and concerns related to the impact of implementing separate standards.

"By applying our approach early, developers can identify possible holes in a standard's scope for a given use by a particular stakeholder – say a manufacturer, a buyer, or a regulator," said Paul Witherell, the document’s lead author. “During implementation, our approach can assist in identifying coverage gaps and overlaps between standards' scopes of coverage."

The publication, titled FACTS: A Framework for Analysis, Comparison, and Testing of Standards, is expected to lead to the development of a specialized digital development tool that would assist the process of developing and implementing voluntary consensus standards.

To read the document’s official abstract, click here.

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