Standards Development Process
CIECA develops standards through an established process. The development of standards is overseen by the CIECA Standards Advisory Board. The process listed below defines the process through which standards are developed.
The first step in the development of a new standard is the creation of a committee. This is done by defining the mission and objectives of the committee and identify those parties that may have a vested interest in participating in the committee. Committees may be proposed by anyone in the industry who sees a need for a standardized solution to a problem.
A business plan is then created to identify the participating companies for the development of the standards and to describe the targeted benefits. Included is the business workflow that is used to identify and describe the messages.
The workflow is usually a standalone document as it describes the environment in which the messages will be identified and what they will communicate. The messages can then begin to be developed, with an overview of how the message and data fit into the entire business process.
Business Message Suite (BMS) & Code List
The BMS is a Word document that describes the message and all the data it contains. Each message is described and the detail of what is needed and what could be included (required vs optional) is identified. For processing, standard codes are identified and included in the message as a data point.
Implementation Guide (IG) and IG Appendix Cs (App C)
Once the message is created, two documents are prepared. The first, the IG, is created with a business focus and contains information from the Charter and the Business Plan, including the Workflow. Next, is the App C that provides information for the business and technical analyst and shows how the message should be implemented. As the two documents have different audiences, the same information is shown in both documents. The business cases highlighted are the basis for the Instance Documents created next.
Schema & Instance Documents
Once the messages and codes are defined, the BMS acts as a blueprint for how the schema should be developed. The schema is used by companies to create Instance Documents. These are based on the schema and sent to partnering companies. The Instance Documents can be “validated” against the CIECA schemas to ensure they were created correctly.
CIECA Standards Release
Twice annually, CIECA produces a new release of its standards. The standards include the BMS, the Code Lists, and the Schemas. As an aid, a portfolio of all the Instance Documents developed by CIECA are collected and included in the release. When a change is made in the BMS or Code List, it prompts a change in the schema. For each change, an accompanying Instance Document is created to ensure they were completed correctly. These are then added to the portfolio of Instance Documents and all subsequent releases.