The phrase It's Just a A Rule is dismissive and often used as an AntiPattern by those who would reject all kinds of rules. RulesAreMadeToBeBroken is a similar kind of notion. That is not to say that we shouldn't break the rules sometimes, maybe even a lot and ColorOutsideTheLines. But before breaking a rule, do two things:
Know why the rule is a rule in the first place i.e. KnowTheRule
A ball team has plays and patterns that help players know where the other players are and will be. A software team needs to know as well, and rules help with this.
If a rule is bad or has exceptions, we come back to the group and get it revised or rescinded [OldRulesWithOutdatedForces].
Until then, being sure we know how people will behave is part of what helps us go fast. Rules are meant to be absolute; if a rule blocks progress then the rule needs work. Think about it this way: People have rules; Nature has laws. If there is a rule about wearing a pressure suit before entering the airlock then you can damn well be sure that Nature will enforce that rule sooner or later with a law.
See also: TheyreJustRules.
Contributors: RaySchneider, RonJeffries, MartySchrader et al.