The Process Myth


You’ve heard the groans and you’ve seen the rolling eyeballs and made the fair assumption that engineers are genetically predisposed to hate process. It’s an incorrect assumption that doesn’t add up. Engineers are creatures who appreciate structure, order and predictability, and the goal of a healthy process is to define structure so order is maintained and predictability is increased. The job of a software engineer is writing code, which is codified process.

So, what gives? Why the groaning?

Back when I worked at an agency by far the most difficult thing to implement was a process. In fact by the time I left it still wasn’t in place. It all came down to the fact that not everyone was on board. I take that as a personal failing of mine which echoes various parts of this article. Processes need a defense, an understanding in order to be accepted. Any team member will happily comply with process if the purpose behind it is understood. If managers aren’t able to effectively convey that meaning and make the proper adjustments, success will never be achieved.