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Delivering on expanding expectations

September 18, 2018

To be in the society of 1775 and see James Watt deliver the first truly reliable steam engine would be an eye-opening experience not because of how innovative it was at the time, but because of how much better we know things are to become.

In this same mould of looking at how things are working now, Standards Australia is most excited by what comes next. And although we aren’t going to invent a steam engine, or anything quite as revolutionary as a telephone, there is certainly a lot to come from the work we are doing.

I have seen a lot of the cogs that turn the machine of Standards Australia and while I know we can run as a well-oiled machine, there are times when there is more of a crunch or grind than a smooth operation.  

So right now, as several Australian industries change and push ahead with exciting new technology and better ways of doing things, so too must Standards Australia.

Many familiar with our processes, and those that already engage with us, will have heard the term ‘Technical Governance Review’ so many times they may actually be tired of hearing it. But, because we are so excited by the improvements it has the potential to deliver, the Technical Governance Review (TGR) will not be a phrase quickly forgotten, nor one slipping from the vocabulary anytime soon.

From the first forum with stakeholders where the idea was floated, and some strong criticism received which might have slowed a more delicate individual, it was plain to see people expected more of Standards Australia. Equally, that we had more to give.

Change won’t happen overnight but what the TGR has given Standards Australia is a view into the needs, perceptions and wants of our stakeholders.  And whilst some may argue the findings are confronting, it is only by bringing it all out in the open that we have a mandate and commitment, from all the community that we serve, to jointly fix it.

The contribution of Standards Australia to the Australian community is one that cannot be understated, and one that needs to be constantly examined to ensure we are delivering as best we can, which is why the changes from the TGR are critical.

Some will be easy wins, others high effort, high returns and others will probably be very hard and polarising – but what we have today is a dialogue with stakeholders that has not always been there.  We are still far from perfect, but we are as keen as ever to improve our role in the Australian and International landscapes.

I often say to the Standards Australia team once we have the green light to progress with any initiative:  “Now, onwards to a flawless implementation”.  It hardly ever happens in a “flawless” manner, but with good planning, an open mind and a continued dialogue, we have been much more successful in our strides – and will continue to be.

There are some changes which will happen straight away, others will take some months or years to implement, but regardless, if nothing else, this TGR is an indication that we are serious about the way we work and that we are serious about innovation.

While the Wright Brothers can rest easy knowing their industrial achievement won’t be knocked down the ladder in terms of life-altering technology, we are certainly excited about how our improvements will make it easier and more efficient for Standards Australia to work with our stakeholders and deliver for the community now and well into the future.

Kareen Riley-Takos
General Manager, Operations

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