How to Convince Your Company to Embrace Standards

Kevin Lawver

This is a presentation. If you'd like to view all the slides like a normal web page, you can.

Media From The Actual Event

Our Panelists

Arun Ranganathan

Kimberly Blessing

Alla Gringaus

Steve Chipman

Kevin Lawver

Step One: Find Your Pirates

First, A Quote

AOL? What the f@ck are you doing here? Marc Canter at SXSW last year

Problem Statement

Find Your Soulmates

Find A Sponsor

Give Yourselves a Name

Build an Activist Spirit

Step Two: Pick Your Targets

A Quick Tale Of Dragons

Who do you need to convince?

What are the high value targets?

How do you spread your message?

The Evangelism Team's Mission Lives On

Step Three: Just Do It

Even if you can't get buy in...

Those business folks have the best ideas!
(Or, the down side of adding a permanent feature to a lingering dinosaur.)

Netscape Navigator 4.x Toolbar, with Shop@ button what you can.

On the template side:

  1. Add a DOCTYPE
  2. while !(standards-compliant) {
    • Optimize markup as much as possible
    • Add semantics wherever/whenever possible
    • Use CSS wherever/whenever possible

It's not an overnight process.

Use your work to show the deltas and benefits.

The obvious benefits:

Other obvious benefits that management loves:

Managers can "just do it" too!

Step Four: Perestroika


To revisit and rebuild your foundation.

Once you find your target, find out what matters to them.

Learn to speak their language

Social Engineering


Case Study: Office Pirates

Step Five Be The Support System

Give them Resources

For the Executive:

Doing things that cause the standards community to smile casts a positive light on the company, which is never a bad thing.

Give them Examples

For the Executive

Accessible websites prevent you from being sued!

Give them Homework

Give them Homework

  • Have them find a high profile site on the web that doesn't use standards and recode their main page as an exercise.
  • Anyone responsible for the above here today?

    For the Executive

    Let your people have some time to experiment and play with new technologies on company time. It will benefit you greatly in the long run as your people become more and more experienced.

    Give them Rules

    For the Executive

    Familiarize yourself with the rules. Check with your team lead that they are being followed - knowledge that the paycheck signers are aware of whats going on is wonderful motivation for compliance.

    Give Yourself Rules


    Don't stay silent.

    Give people a place to go

    Easy Participation

    Learn from your mistakes

    Show, don't just tell and revel in your victories