Process over People – I

More testing challenge /today/. This sidebar will not continue to interrupt our regular broadcast. That said …

BY THE WAY: If you’ve been reading Creative Chaos for long, you know that I struggle with the over-value-ification of prescriptive process. I’ve published articles on it and blogged on it extensively. Then, every now and again, someone will just completely nail it. My friend David Christiansen just posted “The FSOP Cycle“. It’s brilliant. Go read it. Now.

About the same time, Paul Graham published “Artists Ship“, which covers some of the same ground in an amazing way. These are send-to-your-boss level articles, and impressive ones, at that.

This morning I was twittering with Ben Simo and he pointed out, again, that over-respect for process dis-respects people. I do think I have the quick soundbyte of why that is:

“The process” says the next step is X. You have a better idea. What does “the process” tell you do? Do X anyway.

In other words, the process doesn’t trust you.

Now, a process expert will tell you that the process is insurance. You pay a cost for a check now and decrease the damage that you’ll get burned later. And, things like testing and inspections can indeed provide some value. Mandated steps, however, insist that someone who wasn’t on this project thought would be a good idea last year and wrote down is the best choice right now.

If process in insurance, check the cost of your premiums. It might be better to downgrade from comprehensive coverage to just liability.

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