Heuristics are rules of thumb. They are generally true, but there can be exceptions in certain contexts, so they are more flexible than rules.

System boundaries can be put in place by providing heuristic rules to govern a particular principle.

For example we often use these three for teams:

  • Increase feedback
  • Decrease batch size
  • Pull work through the system

This does not tell teams what Practices to use, however they can be measured against whether or not they are applying the Principles in a desirable way - which is a big advantage over hard rules.

See the Path to Mastering Skills article for more some more in depth exploration of when heuristics are appropriate.