Once again I skim down my list of subjects to write about, and find that Mr. Phillips at Thinking Faster has already written about one of the same subjects.
What he describes is the aggregate of proscriptions, declared procedure, custom, and common sense that become a set of "rules" or protocols by which interactions between people (whether collaborations toward mutual goals or efforts to mitigate contention of shared resources, e.g., an intersection) can take place both efficiently and safely. I call this the "framework of expectation".
In the programming world, this framework might be comprised of (in part), the corporate mission statement, the project statement of work, the requirements document, the coding style guide, and a firm understanding of the personnel hierarchy, their roles and responsibilities, and the appropriate means of interacting with them. Defining a clear and unambiguous framework of expectation is essential for completing a project in the most efficient and stress-free manner while controlling unnecessary risk.
But be aware of one problem ... people will sometimes think they know better than the framework, or think it would be nicer or more polite or more diplomatic to violate the protocol. For example, take the four-way stop-sign intersection. Every driver's handbook in America states that the first person to the intersection proceeds first, followed by any others in their arrival order. In the case of simultaneous arrival, the car to the right proceeds first. Most drivers know this and follow this, and in this way efficiency is maximized and risk of a fender-bender minimized.
But you sometimes have people who think they'll be "nice" and let someone proceed ahead of them, despite the fact that, by the stated protocol, they are to go first. Now things are broken. Who goes next? Who is to be considered "first"? Questioning looks go all around, tentative, simultanous starts and stops, hand gestures ... everyone's time is wasted, and the possibility of a small accident is increased.
All violations of the framework of expectation decrease efficiency and increase risk. Deal with them accordingly, no matter what the underlying reason for the failure.