Create decision rules & guidelines that can be changed to reflect the processes that are working, make sense, resonate with workers.
Rules, policies and (the dreaded) "best practices" can not only be oppressive; they are often outdated and do not reflect the current environment, current philosophy or current practices.
A governing body that creates and publishes these guidelines will never get them totally right, will always be late to adopt new ideas and will usually be backward-looking and reactive.
Ditch your process review board. Accept the idea that most of the time the people directly involved with the work will know or will learn the best way to get it done.
If a process, rule, guideline or common practice is not currently being used, get rid of it. Leave a void.
Establish working agreements. That is, agree on who gets to make which decisions and what everyone's responsibility is to communicate decisions, progress, ideas, feedback, risks and needs. Start with the default position that decisions are made at the lowest possible levels. In some cases, decisions do indeed need to be made at more senior or strategic levels. Be clear about when this is the case and why those decisions belong to the hierarchy. Remember, it's not a "working agreement" if people don't agree.
Let work groups work unencumbered by rules, guildelines and "best practices." If they are aligned to the organization's purpose and are receiving feedback about their contribution, they will determine where and when they need to implement standards that make them more effective. This goes for work group cooperation as well. Interdependencies between work groups will be optimized by implementing standards only where the groups intersect. The work groups should determine this for themselves for each unique group dependency. The working agreements (concept described at the top of this section), will determine how widely the standard applies. (For example: in order to satisfy the need for a coherent product roadmap, each workgroup should provide similar outputs to descibe their component. Our working agreement states that we accept this principle.)
As these work group standards are implemented or removed by each team, they should be shared. What was formerly considered a "best practice" should now be viewed as learning and improvement that was undertaken by a specific team at a specific point in time.
Storing these ideas, practices and standards in a knowledgebase enables easy sharing. (But do what fits your culture! Or rather, do what fits the culture you want to create!) Using a system that allows "voting" for ideas (whether that's via a content management platform or sticky notes on a wall) enables teams to "vote up" the ideas, practices and standards that they find to be most helpful and most applicable to their work group. Also consider how additional ideas or tweaks to those practices could be added. (e.g. comments appended to the original, edits with changes tracked, branching, duplicating the record, ... Those additions - or the revised standard - somehow need to be voted up or down too.)
Returning to the above example ("in order to satisfy the need for a coherent product roadmap, each workgroup should provide similar outputs to descibe their component.") proposals for that standard output would be created, added to the knowledgebase and voted up or down by the teams involved. (This assumes that the proposals are collaborative efforts either before adding to the knowledgebase or as part of the overall propose/feedback/vote process.)
At any point in time, a team or team member can propose a new standard, new rule, idea, guideline, etc. The voting process enables that idea to gain visibility and acceptance as the new de-facto standard.
Again, standards are only used to satisfy working agreements. They scope of the standard (or guideline or practice) should correspond to the breadth of the people and work groups included in the working agreement.
Reduce resentment caused by imposed standards and increase problem-solving and active system improvement efforts by enabling autonomy.
Create more accurate work practices that do more to raise effectiveness by moving the definition and management of those practices closer to the action.
Egos will still trump democracy. Until the culture has changed to let go of control, personalities will see their own way as not only superior but necessary.
Establishing Working Agreements is fundamental and likely to be one of the most difficult aspects.
Frequent communication, sharing of ideas, nonjudgemental illumination of concerns and open listening are also of major importance. Those habits and understandings need to be firmly part of the culture.
Define a (loose) set of working agreements and decision rules so people know what jives with their peers' expectations. Use an Urban Dictionary model to enable people to propose changes to that structure and have those ideas peer reviewed and voted up as they gain acceptance. Self-regulate how these rules/guidelines are applied. (e.g. "I want to ____" Is there any guideline for how I should do it? Yes: follow it. Yes, but it doesn't work for me: Propose a rule adjustment to your peers. No: Do what makes sense and register that as the baseline rule. )