Compliance ISO Project Management

Date and time: the new draft of ISO 8601 explained by Klaus-Dieter Naujok

Whether scheduling flights and public transport, broadcasting sports events, keeping public records or managing major projects, ISO 8601 is a game-changer

Standardization is a truly international activity, and I’ve been lucky to have worked with more nationalities than I can remember. But, that said, my first business meeting with a German remains etched in my memory. It was in fact nothing more than a working breakfast, a chance to meet face-to-face after a good number of productive and friendly phone calls. “So, we’ll meet at the café at half-nine? Look forward to meeting you then!”

It was an embarrassing mistake, though without serious consequence

Well, it turns out that for Germans, half-nine, means half-an-hour-before-nine-o’clock-has-arrived (08:30), while for an Englishman, such as myself, it means half-an-hour-has-passed-since-nine-o’clock (09:30). It was an embarrassing mistake, though without serious consequence; an apology, and the pancakes and coffee on me. But it could have been something much more serious than a fudged Frühstück.

That’s why in 1988, ISO 8601 was published. In a single document, Data elements and interchange formats – Information interchange – Representation of dates and times, established a fool-proof format for computer users, ensuring that critical events happen on time.

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One comment

  1. a 24 page standard, of which 6 pages are typically background, contacts, index, acknowledgements & references, usually contains only trite, 6-year-old or even more outdated trivial motherhood that is the lowest common denominator of the standards committee and usually merely gives a false sense of security that, if you tick the boxes, you have done the job. their main objective is to generate revenue for the standards industry- the more standards they issue, the more revenue they their ‘one size fits all’ approach and their relentless quest to dominate their victim discipline and associated training, they can be downright dangerous.
    Andrew Hiles,

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