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Tradeoffs of risk and standardization, but the advantage easily goes to standardization

Whenever someone standardizes a process, ironically, it increases a small class of risks. It increases the chance that the unusual event falls through cracks in the steps, rules, guidelines and process maps. Those are Type II errors where legal risks are present but not spotted. If all subpoena requests move through the same pipeline, for instance, one of them will deviate from standard treatment and leak. That’s life.

On the other hand, well-constructed procedures and checklists, when followed, reduce far more risks than they permit through. Ad hoc solutions leave you in hock. A solid system helps people spot and discuss aberrations because they share a common framework and have something to match the discrepant event against.

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