How Projects Are Started
Standards projects are started when there is a need for an idea or concept to be standardized. The idea or concept can be broad or very specific. However, no standard is developed by one person alone; ultimately group collaboration and consensus is required. This is where the Standards Committee comes into the picture. The Standards Committee is the organization that assumes responsibility for a particular standards idea within IEEE. The Standards Committee provides technical oversight for the standard. It also determines the scope and nature of the technical content. Standards Committees for IEEE standards are traditionally IEEE Societies and Committees. Standards Coordinating Committees (SCCs), the Corporate Advisory Group, and even the Standards Board can be a sponsor as well.
Officially, a standards project does not exist until a PAR is approved. However, often the members of a potential working group will have gathered to work on a PAR and to gain the support of their potential Standards Committee. This type of gathering, known as a study group, can exist for up to six months before a PAR needs to be submitted. (Of course, new PARs can be developed by existing working groups as additional projects as well.)
A PAR is a small, structured, and highly detailed document that essentially states the reason why the project exists and what it intends to do. Many groups treat the PAR as their permission to move forward (which, in fact, it is).