We desperately need standards

*This article was originally published as a blog post on our website in December 2014.

At Chartlytics, we aim to make the world a better place. We have crafted our business to provide a service focused on changing and improving behavior. People access Chartlytics for different reasons. We have many teachers on board who want their students to not just get better grades but truly master the content. We also have a number of behavior analysts skilled at applying the laws of behavior to help children and adults overcome their disabilities. And we have a growing number of people who just want to better themselves with different types of self improvement projects. When the previously mentioned people succeed, Chartlytics thus makes it mark.

Chartlytics’s arsenal of services covers many areas: the Standard Celeration Chart, pinpointing behavior, enhanced communication systems, practice material library, a behavior bank, and more. But at the core of Chartlytics, what makes it really tick, may surprise some people. Namely, Chartlytics relies on standards. 


Think about the order in human endeavors like business, science, and even social clubs. Order emanates from standards. Business have standard in commerce like money. And science has many standards for measurement (e.g., units for weight, length, time). How would business operate without a standard currency? How would science work without standard units of measurement?

Not so well.

A standard “is a criterion, unit of reference, model, or process approved or accepted as correct by common consent, established custom, or recognized authority” (Schmid, 1976). Standards facilitate access to a common scale and frame of reference. For example, standards transformed the New York subway from confusion and chaotic system into one of clarity and dependable utility. 

In 1976 Schmid delivered a wonderfully informational piece on standards. In his presentation he listed 5 reasons why everyone should use standards. He said:

“1. They serve as important guides in maintaining uniformity and consistency for many repetitive and recurring procedures.

2. They represent an important educational tool by facilitating the training and indoctrination of new employees, thereby relieving the supervisory staff of time and effort.

3. They can be helpful in enhancing the quality of work by developing procedures based on experience, collaboration, and consensus.

4. They can reduce costs by increasing the efficiency and economy of basic procedures.

5. Standards represent a distillation of experience which can be retained and perpetuated without dissipating time and energy in constantly retracing or reinventing certain procedures.” (p. 75-76).

Unpacking Schmid’s message makes one wonder why everyone doesn’t go out and find a standard and give it a big hug. We certainly have at Chartlytics!

1. People who learn how to create pinpoints have a system for always selecting behavior in a consistent and productive manner.

2. New people learning how to help others master and become fluent with content can learn a systematic practice routines quickly and efficiently.

3. Once people become proficient with the Standard Celeration Chart they can make decisions with less errors, more speed, and more effectiveness. 

4. Greatly reduced expenditures go to training because once people learn Chartlytics they can quickly teach others. A community of people rallying around standard procedures and standard measures allows users to harness the full power of the science of performance improvement and measurement.

5.When an organization learns how to successfully foster positive change experiences, even one in that system benefits from the shared knowledge of the discovery.

No standards? Prepare for distress and frustration

Take what Schmid said in his five reasons above stating why standards work. People that don’t embrace standards live in a world ruled by the inconsistent procedures, recurring problems, lengthy and involved indoctrination procedures, high training expenses, and a lack of institutional knowledge. Who wants any of that? 

At Chartlytics we hope you join us learning how to use standards to help people achieve their personal goals of performance and learning improvement.


Schmid, C. F. (1976). The Role of Standards in Graphic Presentation. In Graphic Presentation of Statistical Information: Papers Presented at the 136th Annual Meeting of the American Statistical Association (pp. 69-78). Boston, MA:U.S. Department of Commerce.

*Want to read the original article? Follow this link.

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