General - Standards Watchdog - Do you provide the reason behind the rules rather than just enforce them?

Last updated by Brook Jeynes [SSW] 7 months ago.See history

Learning lessons the hard way is a fact of life, but one of the great things about teamwork is that you can help others avoid making the same mistakes over and over again. This is the foundation of great standards! But what happens when a new (or old) team member misses a standard?

"The floggings will continue until morale improves"

- A bad manager

Everyone makes mistakes. If you run around wielding your authority as a cudgel, telling them they'd better comply or else, two things will happen:

  1. They will resent you
  2. They will only bother following standards when you're around

For example: if one of your standards is for developers to send "test please" emails, there's a hard-learned lesson behind that standard (or else it wouldn't exist!). You can beat your developers over the head with the rule, or you can take 5 minutes to explain the reasons why it exists and why it's important.

Figure: Bad example - This email doesn't tell Mark why this is so important.

Figure: Good example - provide a link to your standard and the main reason(s) why this standard is important

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