Good coding standards (and adhering to them) improve code maintainability, but there are additional benefits in terms of coding efficiency. Having well-crafted coding standards means losing the freedom of choice and gaining freedom from choice.

Without coding standards, as a developer you have the freedom of choice over a great many aspects of your work: what to name things, how to design the project structure, etc. But this choice comes with the cost of having to make many decisions. For instance, for one client there was no standard for when to use attributes and when to use elements when developing an XML schema. This means that each time a new schema is developed, you have to spend time deliberating on the choice.

Coding standards give you freedom from choice. With freedom from choice you don’t have to decide if you should use PascalCase, camelCase or Under_Score for class names. You don’t have to decide if a particular node in your XML schema should be an attribute or an element. You just apply the standard and the decision is made for you. This results in increased efficiency as you are able to focus on delivering features, rather than making many peripheral decisions.