This article is written based on an interview with the CEO and co-founder of Barbal, Tom Bartley
The standards community is in need of a space where they can come together and share their battle stories in standards-making. The process of building these pillars of change will improve if professionals come together to discuss with transparency and openness.
The vision behind Fusebox is creating a space where people can come together and share their ideas and experience. A platform where inspiration can ignite. Tom has had experience in working in two different sectors: Civil Engineering and Standards. He found that Civil Engineering had a more professional infrastructure that could cope with their larger scale of knowledge than in the Standards and Consensus sectors.
Tom says: “There sometimes seems to be a sense of competition that inhibits the formation of a network amongst standards professionals which subsequently limits the progression of Standards Development. Fusebox will be a space where we can forget the competition and work towards making the experience of making standards bearable.”
The issue that Tom feels Standards-Makers truly struggle with is large-scale collaboration to amend individual documents. His company is trying to solve the problem of how to collaborate on documents where there are an unfathomable number of people involved. For example, using word processors such as Google Docs, collaboration becomes messy when more than 5 or 6 people are editing at the same time. In consensus-based documents, like standards or policies, sometimes hundreds of people contribute to the same document and with our current software this can become completely chaotic and inefficient. He and his co-founder, Dave Balderstone, are developing an approach called Open Consensus which focuses on how to engage stakeholders continuously throughout developing consensus-based documents such as policies.
Open Consensus goes hand in hand with Fusebox. With a neutral platform where competition has no impact, people can share their battle stories with the Standards Development Process. With openness comes discussion. This will provide plenty of insight into innovative ways of dealing with the trials and errors of Standards-making. With transparency and collaboration comes new ideas that will create a new community-driven approach to making standards faster and better. Standards are the building blocks of making an impact. Trying to improve these pillars of change cannot be done in isolation but as a whole entity. Let Fusebox be the beacon calling all standards professionals to take this opportunity for collaboration and do what we do best – innovate!
To sign up to Fusebox, have a look at our meet-up link below!