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Extensive searchtool

Extensive searchtool

This search tool helps to search for the relevant rules, standards and requirements through a step-by-step approach, in a targeted and effective manner.

There are standards for most products and services. Sometimes even dozens. Examples of standards for products:

  • Standards for connecting to another product
  • Security standards
  • Standard measurements
  • Standards with test methods to demonstrate the quality of the product

Examples of standards for services:

  • Standards that determine which service the customer can expect.
  • Requirements for staff training.
  • Standard procedures.

Application of standards is sometimes mandatory or almost mandatory, because the law prescribes it or because the customer requires it. But it can also be the company’s own choice to use standards, for example to save costs or to better serve customers. Standards can determine whether a product or service flops or becomes a mega success. (click here for examples). Standards can be a driver for a company to conquer new markets and achieve better business results. Click here for the advantages of standardization for producers and customers. The importance of standards and standardization continues to increase. If you want to know why, click here.

Choosing standards is difficult because there are so many. The danger is that you can no longer see the wood for the trees. Below is a systematic approach to identifying standards for products and services. We assume that there is already a global design of the product or service.

Detecting standards with a search engine?

How do you look for standards? The fastest way to search for standards is: enter a few search terms (Dutch or English) plus the words “standard or norm” in a search engine and look at the result. In many cases you will find something like this. That can give a first idea of ​​what is out there. Still, the question is whether you will find what you really need:

  • You find that a supplier says that he uses a certain standard. Do other suppliers also use them? Is it best to use it yourself, or is there no reason to?
  • There appears to be an official standard, indicated by “NEN-EN, DIN-EN, BS-EN etc.”, followed by a number. Is use of this standard mandatory? Or can you just as well use something else?
  • You have found 10 standards. But there may be many more.

In short: you will find something, but maybe not enough. If you think you are already there, you are leading yourself astray. That is why it can be wise to think carefully before using the Internet.

Think first

Finding standards while you hardly know what they are and what you can use for, is not really smart. It is therefore wise to go through the following steps:

Requirements associated with the so-called CE marking apply to more than half of all products. This is especially true for products where the use can present hazards, for example due to mechanical movement or because electricity is used. Since this is so common, let's start with this. If you are looking for standards for services, you can skip straight to step 2.

More than half of all products must be provided with the CE mark. In doing so, the manufacturer shows that these products meet legal requirements, which are laid down in European directives. The requirements from these guidelines must be incorporated into national legislation. Compliance with the requirements is made visible by the manufacturer by affixing the letters CE (Conformité Européenne). European standards are produced as an elaboration of the requirements in the directives. Those who adhere to the standards are also expected to comply with the legal requirements. Working in accordance with standards is therefore the easiest way to meet those requirements. Before you start looking for the guidelines and associated standards, first read here more about CE marking.

Which guideline(s)?

First determine which guideline (s) apply. A large number of these so-called New Approach Directives have now been replaced by the New Legislative Framework in 2008 (New-Legislative-Framework). Three of these relate to a very large number of products:

The other directives within the new New Legislative Framework relate to specific product groups, for example:

  • devices in an explosive environment;
  • building products;
  • pressure vessels of simple form;
  • explosives for civilian use;
  • medical instruments;
  • non-automatic weighing instruments;
  • passenger lifts;
  • personal protective equipment;
  • pleasure craft;
  • audio equipment and telecommunication terminal equipment;
  • toys.

Many products and product groups fall under the scope of more than one directive. For an overview of the guidelines, see the New approach site: It is indicated for each guideline exactly what it is about. It can be quite difficult to determine which guideline applies.

Which standard(s)?

European standards are developed for each new directive. Sometimes they are already there, sometimes they are still under development, or they are already being revised. For each directive an overview of standards can be found. These standards usually have the designation EN. They are taken over by the Netherlands and are then designated NEN-EN. In other countries they are designated DIN-EN (Germany), BS-EN (UK) etc. Usually they are in English (or German or French); some commonly used standards may have been translated into the native language.

Once you have found these standards, it appears that they often refer to other standards that relate to the same product.

For more information about the activities of NEN and an overview of standards committees in the field of machine construction and transport, click here.

NEN biedt ook veel trainingen, onder andere op het gebied van CE-markering en machineveiligheid, click here for more information. See this tool (NL) for a stepwise approach to CE-marking.

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) also offers information and some practical tools (in NL), see:

Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)

CE-Markering stappenplan (NL)

Regelhulp CE-markering (NL)

Almost every European country has a national standardization institute. Most national standardization bodies have a catalog of standards. For the Netherlands, the national ánd international standards can be found via the search function of NEN or NENConnect.

The standards that the committees of institutes have specially drawn up for that country have a country-specific designation, followed by a number. NEN for the Netherlands, DIN for Germany, BS for the UK, etc. There are also normative publications with a slightly different status, referred to as NPR, and publications that have been developed using a simpler procedure, referred to as NTA.

Most standards that are important to national organizations are not established at the national level, but at global or European level. Official global standards come from:

  • the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) - most standards have the designation: ISO, followed by a number;
  • the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) - designation: IEC + number;
  • the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) - the standards are called "Recommendations".

The official European standardization organizations are:

  • Committee Européen de Normalisation and Committee Européen de Normalisation Electrotechnique (CEN CENELEC);
  • European Telecommunication Standards Institute (ETSI).

The most common designation of European standards is EN, followed by a number.

All these standards are in principle voluntary standards: organizations are free to use them or not. The following rules are used during the creation:

  • (representatives of) all stakeholders may participate;
  • decision-making based on arguments and "consensus" (agreeing to no longer disagree);
  • possibility for non-participants to comment on the draft standard; this comment is taken into account with arguments.

This careful development contributes to the support for the standard. As a result, a standard from an official standardization body has in most cases a certain status in the market.

The official Dutch, European and international standards can be found via NEN Connect using so-called ICS codes and search terms. ICS stands for International Classification for Standards. It is a code to classify the standards. If a standard found has a specific ICS code, there is a good chance that other standards with the same ICS code are also important.

A complete overview of ICS codes can be found in NEN Connect. Clicking through takes you to subcategories, and so on.

See en for more information and access.  

Other tips for searching in NEN Connect:

  • search on "keywords" or combinations (see the help function in NEN Connect for exact and smart searches)
  • first search for the relevant ICS code and then refine within the resulting list of standards
  • search a relevant standard, open it to have a look at the references to other standards
  • the document UIT 78 (available in NEN Connect) offers a nice overview of all standards in the field of the Machinery Directive
  • document UIT 58 offers a practical approach to risk assessment according to the Machinery Directive

For students, NEN Connect is accessible under this name via the digital library / mediatheek of the educational institution.

You have probably discovered a whole series of standards for the product or service in the first two steps (we will only use the term "product" below). These standards can be used by the manufacturer or supplier, but also by other market parties. However, these market parties not only use official standards, they can also set requirements themselves or make use of other organizations that do so. In order to systematically search for standards, it is therefore necessary to identify which organizations these may be. A special party is the government, national or European. We already encountered the European government with CE marking. We will also discuss other governmental requirements below.

Other parties with requirements

You can find other parties who can set requirements by systematically going through a number of viewing directions:

1 Production chain

Requirements for the product can be set by the parties that play a role somewhere in the production chain. Therefore try to map out that chain. This refers to the production chain from raw materials, via semi-finished products and parts to products, followed by the users of these products and then possibly reuse, recycling or processing into waste. Transporters and (intermediate) trade can also impose requirements. Such a chain can be quite complicated, as the following example shows.

2    Use / consumption

In the production chain we also encounter the user: consumer or professional user. Sometimes other parties from the user side are also involved in the subject to which the standard applies.

3    Design

The companies in the production chain are often also the ones dealing with the standard subject itself from the design side. But sometimes production and design are separate. In construction, for example, there is often a clear distinction between architect (design) and contractor (detail design and production).

4    Technical interfaces

For each phase in the chain, it can be ascertained whether the product fits in, on, on or with something, such as margarine in a tub, a dashboard in a car or oil in a pipeline. There may be machines or tools or people who "do something" with the product. Standards for a product can also be relevant for parties dealing with technical interfaces of that product. Here again, a distinction can be made between production, use and design.

5    Inspection and certification

Then there may be parties that must inspect the product or the technical environment directly related to the product:

  • The producer himself.
  • The buyer.
  • Another party that has something to do with the product.
  • A neutral inspection body (for example a certification body).

Some inspection bodies develop the requirements on the basis of which they inspect themselves.

6    ‘Organizations of’

A large number of parties can be found based on the above viewing directions. Some of these may impose requirements on the product. Often these parties have also united themselves in "organizations of", such as:

  • Labor unions
  • Consumer organizations
  • User organization
  • Branch organization
  • Consortia of companies
  • Professional associations or other organizations of specialists in the field.

It is precisely such organizations that sometimes impose requirements.

The most important parties that have developed package of requirements for the product are in many cases:

  • The producer himself.
  • The buyers.
  • Official standardization institutions.
  • Governments.

Try to consider which of the other parties mentioned will also set requirements for the product. All the parties mentioned, and there are many of them for most products, may have developed packages of requirements that are important for the product. In many cases they have a website and on that site you can see whether the organization deals with standards. But that is not always visible; especially companies that set requirements for themselves or suppliers do not put this on their site.

European legal product requirements

In addition to the aforementioned directives within the New legislative framework, other European legislation is also important for many products. We only mention what is common:

Product liability law

Product liability is the liability of a producer for possible defects in a product supplied by him. If something goes wrong in the use by the consumer or other user of a product, the European Directive 85/374/EEC places the burden of proof on the producer: he must be able to demonstrate that he has made, transported and stored his product in such a way that nothing can be blamed on him. If the producer can demonstrate that his product complies with standards, he is in a stronger legal position, because in many cases judges assume that standards lay down the "accepted state of the art". If the producer also has a quality management system in accordance with standards (such as EN-ISO 9001), his position is even stronger. This liability legislation therefore makes working in accordance with standards more important.

Click here (NL) for more information by the Dutch Enterprise Agency (RVO) regarding product liability.

Public procurement

Is the product delivered to a (semi-) governmental body? In some cases, the government is required by European legislation to set requirements for this product, which are preferably laid down in European standards. The background of this European legislation is that national governments are often inclined to award large investment projects to national companies. In order to achieve a single free European market here, too, the tenders within the European Union must be public in some sectors for investments above a certain amount. Then companies from other countries can also compete for the contract. If reference is made in the specifications to national standards, however, a de facto trade barrier still arises. That is why the European Union has determined that the specifications must refer to European standards, insofar as they exist in the relevant field. Companies that want to compete for larger public contracts cannot ignore European standards. Moreover, it has a knock-on effect on other projects outside the government sphere.

There are European directives for public procurement in the areas:

  • Works
  • Deliveries
  • Services
  • Utilities

Click here (NL) for more information by the Dutch Enterprise Agency (RVO) regarding public procurement.


European directives dealing with CE marking set requirements for products and relate to the marketing of those products, for example machines. A company that buys such a machine cannot simply use that machine as a means of production. There is other European legislation for this: a European Directive to promote the improvement of the safety and health of employees at work (89/391/EEC). This directive sets minimum regulations on health and safety for the use by employees of equipment at the workplace.

Click here (NL) for more information by the Dutch Enterprise Agency (RVO) regarding safety and health of employees at work. Click here to go to the website of the European Agency for Safety & Health at Work.

National legal product requirements

Much European legislation has been taken over into national laws and regulations. There are fewer and fewer specific national product requirements. The requirements set in different European countries may differ. The European Commission aims to remove obstacles to promote free movement of goods between different countries. It is important to have a map of the country-specific requirements for a product.

In the Netherlands, the laws and regulations for machines are laid down in the following legislation:

For market introduction


Warenwetbesluit machines

Professional use



You can use the checklist below to find out which standards are possible for your product. The checklist is fairly complete; some categories show some overlap. We start with the general trade-off between standard and customization.

Standard or customized?

Does every customer get a different product or does everyone get the same? If every customer gets the same, the product itself is standard. This often concerns commercial decisions of the supplier. Customer needs differ. That pleads for diversity. However, variety is often more expensive to produce. That again argues for unity. An interim solution is often the best, where the customer does have options, but there is still an underlying unit, for example standard modules.

  • Which properties of the product can vary? (eg engine power, color, dimensions)? Are there different options for each property? If so, unlimited (e.g. any color) or a limited number of options (e.g. green, blue, red)?
  • Is the product made up of standard modules (which may be made up of sub-modules, etc.)? Which variants per module?
    • With a mobile crane, which comes in different sizes, the manufacturer can choose different wheel size (the larger the crane, the larger the wheels) or a difference in the number of wheels (the larger the crane, the more wheels).
  • Are standard components used (e.g. standard screws)?

The following parts of the checklist can be applied to both the product as a whole and, where applicable, to specific modules or parts thereof. Do not go into everything that is mentioned, then the end will be lost. Using common sense, try to distinguish essentials from side issues.

Form / dimensions

Could there be standards for the dimensions of the product?

  • Sometimes it is useful to define a preferred assortment:
    • Shoes: size 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, etc.
    • Paper sizes: Cut an A4 (216 x 297 mm) in half and you have two sheets of A5 (148 x 216 mm). The Americans have different measurements based on inches.
  • Often one product has to match another. Then agreements about dimensions are necessary:
    • Vacuum cleaner bag in vacuum cleaner.
    • Standard beer bottle in a standard crate that fits on a standard pallet that fits in a standard container.
  • Geometrical product specifications and fits: which tolerances of size, shape, etc. are permissible? If one has to fit on or in the other, such as an axle in a wheel, then tolerances must be defined: which deviation from the intended size or shape is still permissible? The more narrowly the margins are defined, the more expensive the production
  • Standard measurement methods for measuring dimensions.


(Required) properties, for example:

  • Chemical composition.
  • Minimal tensile strength.
  • Maximum weight.
  • Color fastness.
  • Leaching behavior (no release of harmful substances into the environment).

Test methods to verify such material properties.

Mechanical movement

If product parts can move relative to each other, other standards may be required:

  • Standards for the interface between the one and the other, for example:
    • Gears (dimensions, properties, strength, calculation method, test method).
    • Lubricant (properties).
  • Standards that set requirements for the movement, for example:
    • Maximum speed
    • Time within which the movement can be stopped.
  • Security requirements.


Standardization in the electrical engineering field came earlier than in other areas, because development of the technology was not possible without standards for connectivity and safety in particular.

  • Connectability, for example:
    • Plugs.
    • Wiring.
    • Voltage.
    • Amperage.
  • Security, for example:
    • Insulation.
    • Accessibility for people.
    • Connection conditions.
  • Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC): The product must not interfere with other products (do not use a mobile phone in the aircraft) and must not itself be interfered with by other products.


Properties of the product in relation to the requirements and wishes of the customer. Based on standards, the supplier can:

  • describe this quality: "My product meets standard X");
  • demonstrate this quality, using a standard test method. This testing is done by or on behalf of:
    • himself (“1st party”);
    • the customer (“2nd party”);
    • an independent third party (for example, a testing laboratory or a certification body).


Aspects of the product that may affect the environment, for example:

  • Energy consumption during production.
  • Energy required when using the product.
  • Raw material consumption.
  • Release of harmful substances or radiation.
  • Noise production
  • Vibrations caused by the product.
  • Circularity and reusability (“design for re-use”).

Standards can lay down a performance requirement or provide a measurement method against which it can be tested whether the requirements are met. There may also be standards with example solutions.


Toys can be dangerous for children, for example by:

  • sharp edges;
  • parts that can come off (bear eyes);
  • release of harmful substances when the toy is put in the mouth;
  • small parts that could choke a child.

Standards have been developed for toys that set safety requirements. This also applies to many other products. Standards aimed at preventing accidents include:

  • Determined security level.
  • Test methods to test for safety.
  • Examples of solutions to ensure safety (e.g. fence along balcony).
  • Preventive warnings (for example hazard warning on product, audible signal for truck reversing).
  • Danger alerts (for example in the car: automatic notification that fuel is running low).
  • Safeguards in the event of danger (e.g. boil-dry protection for electric kettle)
  • Instructions.
  • Regulations for commissioning.
  • Regulations for maintenance / repair.

Should things still go wrong, standards can be helpful again:

  • Standards that prescribe safety provisions (for example, the presence of fire extinguishers).
    • Standards that set requirements for safety provisions (for example requirements for fire extinguishing equipment).
    • Instructions for use (“If the patient has used too much of this medicine, make him / her drink plenty of water and notify your doctor”).

Dangerous situations can arise when a product is used in a way that is not intended. Sometimes such other uses are predictable:

  • open the paint can with a screwdriver;
    • standing on the windowsill to clean the windows.

The manufacturer can warn against such use, but it is better to design the product in such a way that it can withstand what the English call "foreseeable misuse". The hygiene requirements for dog and cat food are therefore so strict that this food is suitable for human consumption!


Requirements for the product in relation to the user, or for the interaction between user and product. Ergonomic standards include:

  • Design Principles.
  • Anthropometry: measures and other characteristics of people, to be used for the design of products.
  • Requirements for the use of products (e.g. required posture, lifting).
  • Permissible exposure to, for example, noise, vibrations, temperature or electromagnetic radiation.
  • Requirements for product-human interface, for example keyboards, control panels, displays, pictograms.

Human and animal health

Requirements for the product in relation to the health of the user and measurement methods for this. Of course, this applies most directly to food products or animal feed:

  • Standards with requirements for food safety.
  • Standards with measurement methods to test the safety of food.
  • Standards with requirements for the preparation, distribution and storage of food.
  • Standards for usage information (e.g. best before date).

Specific for medical products are requirements related to the influence between the product and people. In addition to quality requirements, this concerns requirements for bio-compatibility: preventing the product and the human body from not tolerating each other well (for example, skin irritation caused by plaster).


  • Information for product identification, for example:
    • Numbers / codes.
    • Names / Terms, Definitions.
  • Information about product properties, for example:
    • Classifications.
    • Terms, definitions.
  • Information about how the product was made, for example:
    • Technical drawing.
    • Construction calculations
  • Information for the user:
    • Desired / intended use
    • Uses advised against.
    • Directions for use.
    • Shelf life.
    • Possible side effects'.
    • Instruction for maintenance
  • Relationship between product and information: (directions for :)
    • Putting information on the product.
    • Barcodes, QR-codes.
    • Chips, etc.

Data exchange

Standards for sending information from one computerized system to another include:

  • The physical connection (requirements for, for example, fiber optic cable).
  • Synchronizing the sending of data.
  • Addressing and routing of data.
  • Encryption and interpretation of data.
  • Method of data entry.
  • Method of representation of data.
  • Security of data.

Many products are connected with services, for example:

  • Installing (the supplier of the TV set comes by at home and sets the channels for the transmitters).
  • Service (telephone help desk).
  • Guarantee scheme.
  • Complaints handling.
  • Maintenance.

In many cases there are standards for this. Conversely, many forms of services also involve products (for example, a truck in transport services, a medical device in the care of the sick). That is why standards for products are often also relevant in services. Below we discuss specific standards for services.

Standard or customized?

Does every customer get a different service, or does everyone get the same? Services in which the supplier hardly sees his customer personally (“online services”) are often quite standard, for example energy supply. Often there is direct customer contact with services, which means that the service is by definition not completely standard, not even at McDonald's. Often a producer can deliver custom work or near-custom work with underlying “unity”. Example: consultancy services seem to be completely tailor-made, but a professional consultancy has a database with standard solutions for problems that consultants often encounter. They also work according to certain procedures.

  • What is the service in this case? Can you think of this service composed of standard modules (which may be composed of sub-modules, etc.)? Are there a number of variants per module?

Service process and result of services

Service standards primarily relate to the service provision process and the result of the service. The two often overlap in service provision. In a cabaret performance, the visitor enjoys the provision of the service during the process. Sometimes they are also clearly distinguishable - the result of transport services is that the goods have been transported from A to B, arrived at the right time and were not damaged on the way. In order to search for standards, it is often enlightening to distinguish between "process" and "result".

Legislation and standards for the service provision process may include:

  • A specification of activities.
  • Reliability.
  • Privacy aspects, see for example AVG for legislation and regulations
  • Security aspects, see, for example, the Network and Information Systems Security Act or the standard NEN-ISO / IEC 27032: 2012 (Information technology - Security techniques - Guidelines for cybersecurity)
  • Code of Conduct.
  • Permit requirement.

Standards for service results include:

  • Result specification.
  • Requirements for the result.
  • Measurement method to test whether these requirements are met.

Employees within the service organization

Many services are provided in direct interaction between supplier and customer. So the person providing the service is extremely important. Standards for individuals include:

  • Knowledge (for example: "must be in possession of a welding diploma").
  • Skills.
  • Attitude.
  • Code of ethics (e.g. confidentiality).


In some cases, requirements are also imposed on customers:

  • Admission requirement (eg no alcohol for children under 18, only rent a car to those who have a driver's license and identification, health requirement for sports).
  • Behavioral requirement (e.g. smoking ban).

Organization of the service provider

Anyone who books a holiday online wants to be able to rely on the travel organization to be reliable, so that the trip does indeed go ahead and the promise of the apartment with its own sandy beach is kept. This also applies to other forms of service provision: often requirements for the service organization are also important, such as:

  • Quality management (for example a quality management system based on the international standard ISO 9001).
  • Environmental management (for example based on the ISO 14001 standard).
  • Occupational health and safety management (system for giving systematic attention to working conditions).
  • Safety concerns (Is the Dance Valley organization equipped to prevent accidents with visitors?).
  • Liquidity and other financial aspects.
  • Workforce, eg minimum staffing and level of education.

Physical objects that support the service


  • Technical requirements for trains in public transport services.
  • Requirements for tools for repair services.

Physical objects belonging to customers

In some forms of service provision, the service provider works with or on objects belonging to customers and sets requirements for this. Examples:

  • Requirements for objects to be repaired for repair services.
  • Requirements for cargo to be transported when providing transport services, such as:
    • dimensions of containers or swap bodies;
    • requirements for shock and water resistance.

Requirements for the space in which the service is provided, for example:

  • Requirements for daylight in office space.
  • Requirements for the presence of safety provisions and good air extraction in a chemical laboratory.
Measures to prevent anything from going wrong


  • Security procedures.
  • Work instructions.

Measures in case something goes wrong

  • Emergency measures, contingency plan.
  • Complaints handling.
  • Guarantee conditions.

There is always communication between the customer and the service organization, often before, during and after the provision of the service. Sometimes there is also communication within the service organization (for example with library services, where your library orders a book from another library). Standards can be important for all this communication:

Standards for sending information from one computerized system to another include:

  • The physical connection (requirements for, for example, fiber optic cable).
  • Synchronizing the sending of data.
  • Addressing and routing of data.
  • Encryption and interpretation of data.
  • Method of data entry.
  • Method of representation of data.
  • Security of data.

In addition, there may be standards for, for example:

  • Standard forms
  • Barcodes.
  • Icons.
  • Protocols.
  • Code of Conduct.
  • Accessibility (eg times of telephone accessibility, average waiting time).
  • Method of payment.
  • Terms.
  • Terms of payment.

Standards of official standardization bodies are voluntary standards: everyone is free to use them or not. In a number of situations, however, the application of an official standard for a product is more or less mandatory:

  • Due to the connection to the technical environment (if the product has to be plugged into the socket (officially: "socket") with a plug (officially: "socket"), the standards for this cannot be ignored.
  • Because certain standards are so widely accepted in the market that a deviation would not be accepted in the market (for example, the QWERTY standard for keyboards).
  • Because the customer prescribes certain standards (possibly contractually).
  • Because the customer demands a certificate on which compliance with certain standards is based.
  • Because the law encourages or even prescribes the use of the standard.

There are also official standards that are rarely applied, for example because there is a competing industry standard. In short, even if you have already found a large number of standards, you are not ready yet: you will have to find out which standards are most commonly applied in practice, and preferably why. Based on that, you can then decide for yourself which one you would like to apply.

Not all of this information can be found on the Internet. You will have to ask experts. These experts will usually work for the organizations that you have already identified.

  • In many cases, the trade association has a good overview and if it does not have this, it can indicate which other organization (s) can or can tell which standards are important.
  • Companies, especially the larger ones, often know this too, but they will often not want to give up this know-how.
  • The same applies to inspection and certification bodies.
  • In many cases, a national standardization institute has insight into the official standards, but is less able to provide information about other requirements.

Don't bother such experts with the question “What standards are there for product X”? Answering such a question takes them a lot of time. The better you have prepared yourself, the more likely they will be to be so willing to spend some of their precious time answering your question. You can submit what you have found in the meantime and ask them:

  • whether you have forgotten something;
  • whether what you have found is really important in practice.

In many cases you have come across a jungle of standards. The danger is that you will no longer see the wood for the trees. There seems to be no beginning. Which standards can you best use now?

It is difficult to give a general answer to this question. Often, however, two categories of standards are the most important:

  • standards that are necessary to be able to meet the wishes of the customer;
  • standards related to legislation.

If an organization does not use these standards, the question is whether it can or may deliver.

A third category has to do with the trade-off between standard and customization: doing things as standard in order to produce as cheaply as possible, but also a certain degree of customization, because customer wishes differ. Standards related to this are generally of great commercial importance.

In fact, the standards priorities are related to the strategy of the organization.

Read the separate explanatory document strategy and standardization for a somewhat abstract business administration story about how the standardization strategy can be based on the corporate strategy. For the relationship between strategy, innovation and standardization around an innovative concept, go to the booster.