The behaviour being described is that of imitation.
In terms of describing a body of people engaged in imitation, but lacking any understanding of how their behaviour relates to their goals, I'm not sure one can do much better than cargo cult if the intention is to suggest that the imitative behaviour is not in fact related to the goals. It is difficult to avoid the pejorative connotations.
And in any context where people are expected to have a command of their subject, and at least a tacit understanding of how means relate to outcomes, then it is difficult to avoid a pejorative connotation even if the imitation is successful, because the intent is still to observe that the imitators do not understand why their behaviour produces the beneficial outcomes, and to cast them as fools or pretenders.
You might idiomatically say that they are operating on blind faith, and as a group they comprise a body of the faithful, rather than a body of the learned. But again in any technical arena, it can only be pejorative.
It's a common enough behaviour amongst individuals who are following some sort of moral leadership, but in the IT industry case as in the original context of the Pacific Islanders whose behaviour the word "cargo cult" was coined to describe, the implication is often that people are engaged autonomously in some sort of followship based just on what they have seen, rather than actually engaged in a close interaction with a leadership which has a decent understanding.
The only other thing I ever heard that seems to describe this, in a context I've since forgotten, is that people are behaving "like gibbons with access to welding equipment", and thus taking on a task or responsibility far in excess of their expertise, but that's not a recognised idiom and it was of course nakedly pejorative.