The concept of “standard” is often considered as referring to a concept of “average“, a close relative, in the minds of most, of the concept of “mediocrity“.

Another limitation that is often associated with this concept is that of “generality“, which does not allow a customization of the user experience.

Finally, “standard” sounds like something “basic”, preparatory to something “advanced“, and therefore better. A starting point for beginners.

What is standard might therefore indicate something generic, mediocre, basic.

Maybe it is so in other contexts, but in the industrial one, things work in a different way, practically opposite…

The influence of the “Toyota philosophy” has given a rather bright light to this concept, since the ’70s, and since then, in the industry, the standard has become a goal. A goal to be continually surpassed.

That’s exactly why the concept of “standard” and the concept of “continuous improvement” in industry practically go hand in hand.


Taiichi Ohno

Taiichi Ohno


In this way the concept of standards is something that occupies the dimension of the present and the future. It is today trying to continually improve itself through innovation in order to create a new and better standard tomorrow.


The standard is both a precursor and a consequence of innovation.


The virtuous manager tends to seek and use standard solutions, because these are the result of the best performance achieved so far.

The behavior of those who propose solutions, hardware or software, will therefore be to propose something that has reached a “standard” level, which in this case is synonymous with “highest possible level“.

Selling a “customized” product is just smoke and mirrors, a big misunderstanding on both sides. A mistake that can cost you a lot.

In fact, it is difficult to follow and improve something that has some peculiarities, some exceptions.

Reaching a standard means achieving a sort of “consolidation” of success: preserving what “works”, but always ready to go beyond that level.

An enlightening metaphor can be found in the world of climbing.

The one who climbs along a wall of a ridge, must constantly find his own balance, create a situation of stability, before proceeding to the insertion of  the next peg: let’s say that the standard is that stable peg, that allows us to push again on the legs to be able to climb further to insert a new one, at a higher level.

Without balance, there is no advancement, just as without standards there is no continuous improvement.


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