Mark Pearl

In a study by Green & Hevner in 2000 they discovered that innovative software development techniques were better adopted if the people adopting them had a decreased process control in how to use that innovation.

What does this mean?

In a complex task environment, decreases in personal control can result in greater satisfaction.

Be careful no to give the impression that “if you want to do X, go ahead and do it - it’s totally up to you” arrangement. Rather encourage an organized approach of introducing a practice. The balance is hard, basically you need to give people the freedom to choose when to do the practice but within certain boundaries.

Avoid mindsets like, “Now that you understand the theory of practice X, I will let each of your teams decide how best to use it”, this gives the developers too much process control leading to confusion on how best to implement the technique and the risk of different teams using disparate, and maybe conflicting techniques.

Often managers think they are giving developers desired fleiibility; instead, they are creating a confusing environment for practicing techniques. Some level of consistent organizational standards and procedures for implementing a practice is essential.

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