Standards do not touch the how-to, they only specify the character of the end-product 1.

Central Standards vs. Context fit

Having a central standard reduces the switching cost across teams/contexts. Standards can also reduce variation in performance, if there is a better way to do something it is useful to mak it standard and spread that among teams. However, not the standard approach may not work in all contexts. In these cases you want to be able to deviate from the standard. Therefore, it is best to establish a golden path standard but leave local operators the ability to deviate from it2.


DeMarco, T. Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency. (Currency, 2002).
Yip, J. Guiding principle: Cross-pollination over imposed standards. Medium at (2022).

Links to this note