Let teams use the tools and practices they want

It’s easy to get caught up in wanting consistency in practices and tooling across an organization. Consistency has many benefits. But, when consistency adds unreasonable delay in making decisions, then it can cause harm. Instead of adopting practices that pay substantial dividends, the organization stagnates for months and possibly years trying to make the right decision.

If it’s hard to tell what practices and tools should be selected for consistency’s sake, why not let teams explore whatever they want. Assuming we hold teams accountable to outcomes, who cares what tools and practices they chose to get there?

In the process of experimenting, we can gather real information to make a future decision about consistency. Of course, I think we might be surprised to find that in many situations consistency won’t have as much of an impact as we might expect. Consistency in practices and tools tends to matter locally, in the context of a project or a team, but is often less important across an entire organization. And in these cases, let teams use the practices and tools they love.

Start making progress today, see what happens and adapt to real constraints. Instead of sitting in an ivory tower trying to consider every perspective in order to make a unilateral decision for 100s or 1000s of people.