Thoughts on “consistency” in ways of working

Consistency can be imposed or natural.

There are generally two approaches to consistency in ways of working:

  • Impose consistency through policy;
  • Encourage consistency naturally via exposure.
  • Having showcases between teams about how they do things and ideas they have;
  • Rotating people between teams;
  • Combining multiple teams into one team.

Consistency is not universally good or bad.

Natural consistency will not eliminate all variation in ways of working. And it shouldn’t, because not all variation is bad.

Consistency is most important with interaction protocols.

No matter how appropriately consistent we are for our local context, we may still need to work out how to work together across contexts despite any differences.

  • Agree clearly on how we will work together;
  • Agree what decisions are made across teams and what decisions are delegated to within a specific team



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Jason Yip

Jason Yip


Staff Agile Coach at Spotify, ex-ThoughtWorks, ex-CruiseControl