Standardization Strategy Board (SSB)

Task and objective

IT standards are essential for cross-enterprise systems engineering, but which standards are best suited for this purpose? This is the question being addressed by the Standardization Strategy Board (SSB), a joint project group set up by the prostep ivip Association and the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). The project group was established in 2016 with the aim of enabling cross-enterprise systems engineering (collaborative systems engineering, or CSE) based on engineering IT standards.

The project group continuously analyzes the IT standards relevant to systems engineering, prioritizes them and evaluates their level of maturity in order to derive common strategies and recommendations for their implementation and use. The objective is to achieve end-to-end coverage of the business objects and interfaces required in CSE processes using corresponding standards, with the aim of making the vision of a digital twin reality. The SSB also addresses forward-looking trends in product development and the resulting cross-enterprise challenges involved and passes them on to the relevant committees and specialist groups.

Focus and concrete results

One of the focal points of the work carried out in the project in the past year was a review and the consolidation of the existing framework conditions for PLM IT architectures in CSE environments. To do this, the project group recorded and categorized the ideas put forward by the companies represented in the SSB and, in a second step, supplemented them with additional input from concepts and academic approaches already being implemented. The results will be incorporated in a prostep ivip white paper describing the requirements, framework conditions, and guidelines for future-oriented and sustainable PLM IT architectures. It is scheduled for publication in time for the 2023 prostep ivip Symposium.

During the course of 2022, long-standing contacts with the Code of PLM Openness (CPO) initiative were strengthened. The objective of the collaboration is to create a recommendation for standards that are to be supported by PLM-related IT tools. It is to be published as a supplement to the main CPO document. Consideration is being given to the idea of incorporating the need for standards-specific support in the CPO initiative via the SSB. It was also decided that a forum be provided for IT vendors in the form of a joint annual "sounding board" to encourage the exchange of know-how with the SSB and improve communication.

Organizational and technical challenges

The SSB is more of a user-driven body in terms of topics and structure. During the course of the last year, however, it has become apparent that IT vendors' interest in the SSB's work is increasing. Which is why the project group wants to find ways of involving them to a greater extent. This gave rise to the idea of establishing a "sounding board" as a supplement to the SSB. It is intended that it be held in the form of a workshop for the first time during the 2023 prostep ivip Symposium.

Planning for the current year 2023

Now that the structure of the SSB's fact sheet for the standards was revised last year, it will be made available to the general public in the current year. The aim is to increase dissemination of the fact sheet and thus promote support for standards by IT vendors and user companies. In addition, publication of the white paper on the future PLM IT architectures in the context of CSE is planned for 2023. SSB will give a presentation on its work and host a joint workshop together with IT vendors at the prostep ivip Symposium.

What the project coordinator says:

"The SSB has established itself as a body whose composition remains largely unchanged and is comprised of highly committed participants. This made it possible for us to continue our trust-based collaboration and achieve all the goals that we had set for ourselves. Last year, we also provided important impetus for the prostep ivip Association."

What the project manager says:

"In the current year, we look forward to the launch of the Collaborative Digital Twin project group, which is currently being set up, and are eager to see how it incorporates the metaverses that are emerging into collaborative systems engineering. We of course also want to continue and further expand our close cooperation with other prostep ivip project groups like the CPO group and the respective IT vendors. Our clear objective is to continue to drive the use of data standards by both users and software vendors forward."

Project management

Chair WF, IF, BM:
Dr. Sebastian Handschuh, Mercedes-Benz Group AG

Project coordination

Dr. Marcus Krastel
Tel.: +49 6151 7376 100
E-Mail: marcus.krastel(at)


Airbus Operations GmbH
Continental AG
Dr. Ing. h.c.F. Porsche AG
:em engineering methods AG
Ford Werke GmbH
Mercedes-Benz AG
Robert Bosch GmbH
Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG
Volkswagen AG
ZF Friedrichshafen AG