By ZacGery

The accidental standard is a pervasive issue in software development circles. As groups and products grow in size and complexity, it’s common for people to use their best judgment when making decisions. This trust is a vital olive branch in team building and group dynamics. But as time marches on, accidental standards are created. An accidental standard is a method, process, or expectation set without explicit recognition by those involved. They can range from an unexpectedly lax dress code to reckless, high risk changes in critical environments that harken back to the lawless days of the wild west. In these situations no one consciously wanted, agreed, or accepted these methods and outcomes. They simply happened as a natural evolution of time and space in an attempt to solve emerging needs and problems. Most companies can absorb varying amounts of risk, but maintaining a healthy balance is key. In business, accidental standards cannot be avoided, but they can be managed.