Standards have been a part of a drafter’s life since the dawn of technical drawing. Standards have always played an important role in project delivery. When drafting meant rooms of ink-stained men hunched over rows of slanted tables, standards were the only way that drawing sets could look like it came from the same person. Fast forward a century – The same principles still apply.
Drafters moan, Managers cringe, Principals run in the other direction and the Clients are often disappointed when the conversation about standards are mentioned. There has always been a struggle within A/E firms when it comes to standardization. Personally, I have heard everything from “There is no Budget currently to update the standard” to “Standards are a waste of time, Our drafters produce the best drawing sets without using standards all the time”. I call bullshit (pardon my french). If we were to analyze how much time we all spend reworking drawings for graphic standards, datum consistency and proper annotation, I would bet that we could easily find the largest source of wasted profit for an entire project. Why are standards such a big deal? Why is it common that management either downplays or ignores the importance of standards? The answer for both boils down to cost.