307/365 Prescriptive or just Guardrails

There are two approaches when doing something or making others do it. One is to make the process very prescriptive and the other is to just offer some guardrails. And there are people who might like either of these.

Some people like things to be very prescriptive and the idea is that this helps not so mature teams a very clear path to build up a habit or etiquette. Since they might be new to the process or not that mature as a team following a set of rules with very less ambiguity and not having to make decisions will help them. It is to avoid errors and to bring some structure to a chaos. I personally have a slight problem with being prescriptive. I am also not sure if feeling that way is a good thing or a bad thing.  

I like the Guardrails approach because it gives some freedom and does not make you all stuck. That said it also allows you to not go so astray that you cannot be salvaged back into the path. There is a direction, but you have your own pace and swings. I think guardrails help teams better than being prescriptive.

Now if we think prescriptive is needed, then there should be a plan to move towards Guardrails after sometime. Because prescriptiveness can stifle creativity and innovation.

Categories: Career, Career & Work

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