ANSI Standards Simulation Contest

ANSI’s 2nd Standards Simulation Contest will be taking place tomorrow and I will be mentoring one of the teams.  The contest is sponsored by John Deere and is held under the auspices of the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) Committee on Education (COE).  It’s a training activity for university students to support standards and standardization education.

The contest focuses on two skill sets.  The first is the ability to define the performance and other requirements for a sample standard.   This year’s competition is unusual in that the “standard” the students will be developing will contain minimal text.  This means that it will be composed almost entirely of graphical elements.  Luckily, the subject of this year’s standard is vehicle-to-vehicle communication.  So the use of icons and other graphical elements should make for interesting presentations!

Next, the students will have to try to persuade other teams to support their unique requirements.  Each team represents a different user profile (manufacturer, government player, technology company, and so on).  And there will be two competing technologies that are incompatible.   Negotiating and people skills will come to the forefront during this portion of the competition.

In the last part of the Standards Similation, the teams will attempt to gain consensus in the final negotiations.  For all of us in the standards business, this is really fast-track!  Industry experts from the ANSI membership will choose the winning team.  Judging criteria are based both on the proposed standard each team develops and on their leadership and negotiating skills in achieving their assigned objectives.

The standards community has been focused on fostering greater awareness of standards in the world at large and on more exposure to standards and standardization in educational settings.  The ANSI Committee on Education is at the forefront of this effort.  You’ll find more information on them on their ANSI COE homepage.

As an additional note, San Jose State University (SJSU) is right in Document Center’s backyard.  Representatives of the institution have been particularly active in the COE and other ANSI activities.  In fact, Tiana Ashley Khong, an SJSU student, was the winner of this year’s World Standards Day Student Paper competition with her “The World in 2050: Safety by Design.”  Congratulations to the faculty and students of SJSU for their participation in these standardization events.  I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s event!