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NIST Develops New Methodology for Standards Analysis


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.


Jana Zabinski

Director, Communications and Public Relations



Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist