Inspectioneering Journal

The Real Expense and Liability of a Dated Engineering Standards Program

By Jeannie Lewis, VP of Practices and Engineering Solutions at The Equity Engineering Group. This article appears in the July/August 2019 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.


For most organizations, the late 1990s and early 2000s represent the pinnacle of their engineering standards program. At that time, organizations were well-staffed with industry experts who had the knowledge, resources, and availability to develop and maintain customized corporate engineering standards. These standards served as the nucleus of knowledge for the organization to:

  • Identify and ensure compliance with Recognized and Generally Accepted Good Engineering Practices (RAGAGEP),
  • Capture and transfer knowledge by documenting lessons-learned and corporate preferences, and
  • Reduce risk and improve organizational efficiencies through consistency.

Fast-forward to today and it is very likely that your organization is being asked to do more with less along with a less experienced staff as your senior experts continue to retire.

This operational shift has likely affected your engineering standards program, which likely consists of:

  • Partially maintained internal standards,
  • Inconsistent capital project standards,
  • Frozen legacy standards from acquisitions/mergers, and/or
  • Lengthy industry standards with options and ambiguities.

“Frankenstein” collections have become the norm, but these dated, confusing, and hard-to-use engineering standards are costly and exposing your organization to increased risk.

In this article, we provide a case study showing the real costs and effects of having a dated engineering standards program, as well as the financial benefits through increased reliability of having a thriving engineering standards program. We then provide pros and cons to consider for the most common solutions to help your organization choose a direction and solve this global, multi-industry challenge.

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Comments and Discussion

Posted by MP Nair on October 21, 2019
Very authentic and educative the author deserves... Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

Posted by Matthew Knudsen on November 1, 2019
Thank you for taking the time to draft this... Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

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