Forced compliance is an obstruction to discipline

I am amazed, yet again, that people try to force others to comply to a process, standard, or whatever.  The traditional justification is to ” have governance otherwise everything will fall apart”. Surely, we have learned enough from spectacular failures that governance that does not give people an opportunity to exercise self discipline.  When you give a person a chance to develop personal discipline, then forced compliance is unnecessary.  With forced compliance, we force people into ignoring their own discipline because the system will “sort” it out for you.  It breeds an attitude of “the system failed me and it’s not my fault”.
This discipline I am talking about is a personal attitude to everything.  Some things may be the discipline to

  • not check in code that is broken
  • fix your own or someone else’s broken code
  • find options for looming failure
  • be accountable when you’ve accepted responsibility
  • admit error when you make a bad judgement
  • commit to learn in the face of ignorance
  • share because you just should anyway

Of course, I am being deliberately idealistic.  But wouldn’t it be really nice if everyone just accepted discipline as something that needs to be developed personally.  Imagine it for a moment … so many XP values and principles seem a lot easier to adopt.  Just imagine it.

A forced compliance style of governance is a lot about trying to compensate for lack of trust and admitting that we are more likely to fail than succeed.  On the other hand, discipline is not pain, suffering and anguish.  It’s only sadistic if you implement discipline for nothing.

In ubuntu coding, discipline is a necessary quality.