Sometimes, Prof-like Substance writes at The Spandrel Shop, when he gets the methods section for a paper or during a lab meeting, he notices that the protocols used are a bit different than the ones established for the lab. "I don't mind people trying to improve protocols in a systematic way, nor do I discourage people from troubleshooting lab issues," Prof-like Substance says. "However, changing established protocols in a haphazard way and propagating those changes to others is the stuff that drives PIs crazy."
In a follow-up post, Prof-like Substance says his lab uses certain techniques to minimize such changes to protocols and to code. Instead of passing along hard copies or Word document files of protocols, his lab uses Google Docs. For code, the lab uses bitbucket. "The more people in the lab, the more we have found these changes to be vital. Yes, people have to stay on top of the entries to the Google docs, but the amount of time and money saved is huge. I therefore make it a point of emphasis that lab members stay up to date," Prof-like Substance writes.