Wow, it’s been a while, but I’m back… at least for this post.
There are times when it does become a question when trying to establish guidelines if you are taking the “written in stone” method or the more ambiguous and flexible “written in mud” approach.
“Written in stone” implies this is how it is, and there is virtually no wiggle room for you to move outside the guideline. You essentially have to work within them which is excellent in the beginning. However, as time goes on and things evolve, you might start to see bits and pieces of your stone tablet starting to chip away.
Those strong and idealistic guidelines proved very helpful in establishing your processes and creating the environment you are working with. However, they also may have become even more restrictive than you expected as these guidelines now control your work versus you controlling the work product you want to produce.
Hence, the idea of “written in mud” comes to light. Yes, as the phrase implies, it could get messy. Still, because it offers some ambiguity and more flexibility than the stone practices, that messiness allows you to try out new things within reason and carry on with your evolving workflow.
Your written-in-mud guidelines can evolve with the times versus needing to be carved out of another stone tablet that will likely fall prey to the same ravages of time the first set of written-in-stone guidelines did.
Which approach is best for you and your projects will ultimately be your decision, although it will eventually come down to the approach: written-in-whatever-works.