The consideration of the environmental conditions for the development and distribution of electrical and mechanical products indicate a high significance of standards for these areas, especially from a legal perspective, as they are a tool to prove compliance to legal requirements and therefore to gain market authorisation. Against this background it can be concluded that standards play a significant role in product development by the need to design products which appropriately fit legal requirements. Most investigations within this field concentrate on the impact standards have on companies, and the motivation and benefits of participating in standard setting organisations. It can be assumed that, dependent on the particular type of standard, standards strongly influence all activities within a company; an effect which has not yet been investigated in detail. Therefore the effects of standards on all activities within product development need be investigated from the product development point of view through long-term research. This paper show the results of a pre-study, which has been carried out to firstly identify the key parameters and interactions effecting product development, resulting in a generic system image and 4 research hypotheses, which lay the framework for further research.