Yesterday I asked how we could have both flexibility and stability.
I have worked in organizations where things weren’t written down. The rules were passed on verbally. Of course, what was said depended on who you were speaking to! It could be exasperating, and in difficult situations it felt like I was on my own.
On the other hand, I’ve worked in places where every action and function were rigidly defined, and every step needed to be adhered to in every circumstance. Step outside of the flow chart and you would get smacked!
So, what is the solution?
Maybe we could work closely with stakeholders to design systems that addressed the most common issues, but which also had mechanisms for making decisions for situations that the system did not anticipate.
One strategy for dealing with change is to build systems that are responsive to the unpredictable. The way we learn how to do that is by talking with the people who are responsible for applying the system.