Almost any organization (maybe with the exception of very small ones or organizations that make an effort to be different in this area) love and promote governance at all levels. It is a misconception that it will yield great benefits like lower costs and faster delivery.

The main problem I see with governance is that is is based on erroneous assumptions and transferred from factories to software, IT or other organizations. In factories standardization and governance via inspections and approvals may make a lot more sense due to the repetitive work and a command and control mentality. Just as a side note, I believe this is the basic principle used in the school system all around the world, to prepare people to be good workers/employees in a factory like environment, where creativity and diversity and entrepreneurship are not valued enough.

I also see another related tendency in most western countries, but especially in the US, to try to categorize everything and find recipes for success with clear and repeatable steps for every category (a way to box and standardize everything).

What most organizations don’t realize is that the work that could benefit from standardization and governance, even if it is over 50% of the work done by its employees, is not the type of work that makes them stand out or give them a competitive advantage. A lot of the times that’s work or products you should buy or outsource.

A much better way is to focus on the (creative) ideas and activities that make you different or give you a competitive advantage and for these you need something different than standardization and governance. What is required for these is a lot of human interaction, constant communication (sometimes even collocation or at least online tools that help your people to stay connected) and constant change and adjustment until the right result is achieved.

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