System committee activities


  • The value of IEC standards is the deep expertise embedded in the TCs that is sharpened on focused scopes, and managed by a strong governance and directives fine-tuned since 1906, which makes them unique, independent but somewhat silo-ed.
  • More and more projects in the industry need to implement a combination of standards coming from many different TCs, SDOs and even multiple sectors, but they have been developed separately with different semantic models and architecture references in mind.
  • It is recognized and affirmed that TC/SCs are the core standards factories within the IEC, and that the SyC will provide support to enhance their own management in order to provide a consistent portfolio of standards easier to use by the industry.

New added value provided by the IEC System committee

Given these fundamentals, the added value that SyCs can propose is:

  • Helping to improve the existing portfolio of standards;
  • Helping the TCs developing additional standards more consistently;
  • Helping the industry to understand which standards are available, how to use them at best, knowing what will evolve in the existing standards or the new ones to expect, and thus leveraging,/increasing the exposure of TC’s deliveries to the market, favouring their adoption.

System Engineering applied to the standards development process itself

To deliver this new added value, SyCs are applying System Engineering to the standards development process itself, by organizing activities allowing to:

  • Combine in a recurrent manner “top-down” approach (UseCases analysis) with “bottom-up” approach (resolve inconsistency/incomplete situations identified by TCs/SCs or the industry or SyC members).
  • “Close loops” wherever there is an action in order to ensure that there is a reaction: inside the IEC (between TCs/SCs), outside the IEC (with different types of key stakeholders).

For point “1”, the SyC provides a consistent framework: processes, methods and tools, use-cases collection, analysis, mapping, prioritization in order to produce roadmaps and development plans together with associated TCs.

It is highlighted that Systems are constantly evolving requiring Systems Committees to have continual feedback and input to always adapt their content with the latest market requirements. The operational models implemented need to ensure a continuous feedback loop with all relevant stakeholders throughout the systems life cycle.

For point “b2”, the SyC organizes Forums to bring together key stakeholders. If the SyC smart energy did only one thing, it would be organizing and operating sessions of the TCs Forum. There is no such place and time in the IEC organization where the TCs get together to share understanding, issues, and proposals.

Forums to open and connect

The SyCs aim to encourage and facilitate the engagement and collaboration of SyCs, TCs and stakeholders. While it is understood that TC/SCs are the core standards factories within the IEC, the System Committees offer the ability to provide a wider (system) view across TC/SC activities and at the same time a convergence platform to support those TC/SCs and all other SDOs willing to collaborate.

This facilitates cross communications amongst TC/SCs, helping those Committees to anticipate and better manage themselves the inception of new ideas and projects. For this engagement process to perform, it requires communication and coordination between SyCs and the relevant associated TC/SCs.

Closing loops inside IEC

The approach is aimed at closing the loop between standards developed within the TCs, SCs, relevant stakeholders and the SyCs.

The SyC modus operandi model can play several different roles depending on the operational need; providing a supporting role where the development work is carried out in a single TC or across TCs via JWG, or, if required, the SyC can develop work within its own committee with the presence and contribution of the identified TCs representatives.

The introduction of R Membership for various TC/ SCs allows committee representation within the SyC level for communication, coordination and development of activities. However awareness is key for the SyCs to operate efficiently, as such close communication for cross-committee topics should be encouraged between SyCs, TCs and SCs.

Closing loops between IEC and the outside world

Besides the “TCs Forum” (AG1) covering IEC related committees (TCs, SCs SyCs etc), in order to improve awareness of activities outside of the IEC, the SyCs also propose the creation of various “Forums”, each forum reflecting a certain grouping of stakeholders.

The Figure identifies three additional forums.
(1) The Users Forum (AGx) covering the Users of the standards.

(2) The Regional coordination forums (AGy) to cover regional regulatory and organizations that are not developing standards but representing specific regional needs and investing huge resources in analysing standards that could be potentially shared.

(3) “Non-traditional electrotechnology players” ,and their related SDOs Forum (AGz) which covers typically telecommunication-internet players.

The forums are designed to improve communication and coordination of cross-group activities within a particular field striving to remove silo activities by providing an open workshop environment and discussing topical cross-committee subjects