Standards (glossary entry)  

Contents

Types of Standards

Standards are Used by a Group

Choosing Standards

Standards Must Be Essential

See also

Definitions

The word standard, as used on my pages related to teams, is based on the common meaning in wider English usage ("a level of quality or attainment"; or "a required or agreed level of quality or attainment") but is more specific to the needs of people organized into groups that support each other's success

standard n

1. A commonly accepted moral or ethical principle, and the expectation or agreement to adhere to such principle.

2. An agreed-upon policy or procedure, or the details thereof.

In most of these pages this concept is called a core value.

Standards are Not Rules

Standards are accepted and agreed upon by the person or people who are upholding them, not imposed on one person by another. This is discussed more fully on the page listing my core values.

True story: I have actually been micro-managed by a committees (it was a non-paying job, of course.)
Imposed "Standards"

Types of Standards

Based on the principles outlined in the priorities article, it is easy to see that standards can address any of the items in the hierarchy:

As listed here, each of these satisfies the ones that come after it: accomplishing tasks satisfies goals; goals work towards finishing a project; projects help fulfill a mission; a mission is taken on to fulfill a long-lasting purpose.

Standards are Used by a Group

By definition, standards need to be agreed upon by all people involved, and therefore they need to benefit all people involved.

Therefore it is essential to make the standards as universal as possible, without sacrificing their effectiveness or purpose.

People differ widely on the methods by which they perform tasks, reach goals, complete projects, fulfill their missions and serve their purposes, and standards must be able to accommodate this.

Choosing Standards

Therefore, a type of standards auditing is usually performed. This can be anything from an informal verbal discussion in a group meeting to a long, detailed written review and revision process.

The tasks accomplished by the standards auditing process are:

This process is repeated until mutual agreement can be reached.

However, this process is flawed in that it will usually result in several standards oriented around tasks or methods that make sense in the present situation with the current group of people, but do not adapt to the needs of future situations and possibly other people (who may not have been involved in the process).

Standards Must Be Essential

To avoid the shortcomings of task-based or method-oriented standards, a more thorough standards auditing process can be used:

This process is repeated until a list of standards is produced that accomplishes the mission and purpose of the organization without being tied to specific methods, policies, procedures or tasks.


See Also

The role of core values and standards in individual, team, and group contexts is discussed in MCV12.


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