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ISO Releases Strategic Plan for 2016-2020


The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) recently released its ISO Strategy 2016-2020, detailing the organization's strategic direction over the next five years. The document serves as a guide for how the organization will interact with stakeholders and meet the needs of customers as technological, economic, legal, environmental, social, and political factors continue to influence standards and their utilization.

The document, which also serves as the basis for the ISO Action Plan for Developing Countries 2016-2020, was developed through extensive collaboration with ISO members, partner organizations and other stakeholders. As the U.S. national member body to ISO, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) participated in the national input for the strategic direction through a series of webinars and a 2014 online survey that captured data from U.S. stakeholders [see related news item].

Approved at ISO's Annual General Assembly in Seoul, Republic of Korea, in September 2015, the document pinpoints ISO's six major strategic directions, including:

  • Developing high-quality standards through ISO global membership, which will involve strengthening the ability of ISO committees and their leaders to build consensus among experts from different countries, cultures and stakeholder categories, for example.

  • Engaging stakeholders and partners, which will involve strengthening the input of as many members and their stakeholders as possible in ISO's development process, including underrepresented groups, and engaging best experts on a continually growing list of relevant subject areas that address global challenges—among other strategies in this area.

  • People and organization development will provide opportunities for ISO members to better define, build and lead their engagement in ISO, and will support partnerships and working closely with ISO members on issues of national knowledge sharing and development, for example.

  • Use of technology strategy will involve investing in solutions that facilitate stakeholder engagement and easy access to content though ISO's network of members, giving them opportunities to deliver services to stakeholders and customers in new ways, and others.

  • Communication will involve using media relations, communication technologies and social networking for the benefit of the ISO community, in addition to other steps.

  • Producing globally relevant international standards "used everywhere" means increasing the uptake of standards as business performance tools and developing supporting information that complements international standards, which members can provide to their customers and when needed, and more.

The ISO Action Plan for Developing Countries 2016 - 2020, which addresses issues specific to ISO's work with developing countries, will be available at the end of the year.

For additional information on ANSI's involvement in developing a U.S. input document for the newest ISO Strategic Plan, see the following news items:


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]