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A case study on U.S. government military standard development

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1 Author(s)
Gangl, E.C. ; Air Force Syst., CACI Technol., Inc., Beavercreek, OH, USA

Developing standards normally arises out of a perceived need for commonality to obtain interoperability, cost savings, or logistics benefits. The multiplexed data bus concept was a perceived need by the digital engineering community but considered a high risk by management. A lack of understanding for those outside the engineering field induced this risk element. We had to educate and “sell” the concept first to them. We highlighted all the benefits to them, the flexibility, the plug-and-play capability, the reduced logistics, and cost savings. All this did not sway them until they were in a bind, then weight savings was the acceptance criteria. Even though important, weight savings was not the only benefit. Creating new standards requires persistence, compromise, and time to develop. Salesmanship is as important as engineering competence. Demonstrations and proof of concept are critical. And finally, it was found that the best standards are those where the government works hand in hand with the applicable industry to get everyone's buy in.

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 7 )