There is no one correct way to do things, or should there be?

One of the magic answers I got from my superiors when I questioned them as a junior, some years back, was “there is no one correct way to do things. You are free to find your own solution”. I got this answer as much as I got the other magic answer “it depends”. Now after years of experience, I am thinking should there be a correct way of doing things. Should we be able to answer a question in more direct manner while keeping room for improvements?

I believe there can be many ways of doing the same thing. But we should have only one way of doing it in our processes. This will help our internal customers as well as external customers. Selecting what we are going to do is something we should do after a proper analysis. But once selected, we should stick to the process. If we want to change it, that will be a Kaizan event.
The problem with ambiguity in processes is they can lead to exponentially large ways of doing things. Say you have three tasks in your process and you have four ways of completing each task. You end up with 64(4x4x4) possibilities of completing those three actions. One can select any of the paths, and they will achieve the final goal. But you will not be able to predict the outcome. The time taken to complete the process will vary depending on the path selected. Machinery required might vary depending on the selected path. WIP may also vary. I think you get the point.

Yes, you should have room for innovation and improvements. But you should have your base correct. Otherwise everyone will be confused. Everyone will tell you that “there is no correct way of doing things”.

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