This paper reports on a study of the use of a competence management system in a public healthcare organization. Even though systems for documenting and managing competence information have been implemented widely in most sectors, there is a lack of research focusing the adoption and use of such systems in general, and in particular within the public sector. The use of the system was studied through interviews, observations as well as document studies. In our analysis, we focus on local adap- tation practices, and variations in use, as well as how this functionality is carried by social or materi- al parts of the system. By so doing, we show how contradictory perspectives of the system’s purpose and use is present in the organization, and surprisingly unproblematic. We argue that our in-depth case analysis illustrates how efforts of standardization in a system benignly can co-exist with local adaptation and variation. \