The Codex Astartes is a set of rules
They guide us, and shape us as Ultramarines, teach us to hold duty and honor sacred above all But how we live by those rules is the true test of a Space Marine..
-Captain Titus (Warhammer 40k: Space Marine)
So despite Captain Titus' canonicity being very much doubted, there is some relevance to his saying. The codex astartes has been strictly adhered to by some chapters (Primarily the Ultramarines) but kept to a lesser degree by others.
From the number of recruits/full fledged battle brothers to weapons and vehicles to fighting styles and strategies, many Chapters have their own way of doing things.
It seems as long as the Chapter is proven loyal to the emperor and able to produce results, adherence to the Codex is not that strict.
But then again, in the paranoid Imperium of Man, slight deviations could be easily translated into Heresy; although few have little say over how a Space Marine chapter operates, none (besides the Emperor) is above the Inquisiton. Does the Ordo Hereticus concern themselves with this matter, do they see to it the Rules are at least kept to an acceptable degree? and now that Roboute Guilliman has returned, having come up with the codex himself and being Regent to the Emperor, is strict adherence to it now compulsory?