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From a UX perspective, which scenario(s) would UI standardization take precedent over workflow optimization, or vice-versa?

I'm working on a large application. This applications contains a large number of "modules" that navigate a user through the completion of a series of business related tasks. Some of the "modules" are complex and long in nature. There are some scenarios in these "modules" where breaking application workflow standards may help optimize the workflow.

From a UX perspective, would I be better to break application standards to improve one-off workflows? Or take a small hit in workflow to maintain application standardization and user-expectation?

This is an internal intranet application. Users may/will be using application in a daily and repetitive manner.

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I would stick to design standards. A different approach to certain modules will surely break workflow and distract the user just as much as having to take a little extra time.

Quite simply, humans are amazing pattern-recognition machines.

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