Monday, January 6, 2014

The Dreaded P-Word

To executives, it’s meaningless, beneath their scope.  To developers and designers, it’s a waste of time.  To Product Managers, it’s an impediment to their work.  Why do we expend any energy at all on something as unnecessary as “process”? 

The classic worst case example is the well-known bureaucracy known as the government.  You want something done?  Here, fill out 20 forms, speak to these 30 people, jump through these 40 hoops, and wait these 50 years.  In this era of all-industry instability, break-neck technology changes with shorter and shorter cycles, and quick-hit investment and exit strategies, it seems that spending any time or thought on process is purely detrimental.  We all need to just get s*&^t done. 

Unfortunately, when we don’t take a moment to think through what we’re rushing to build and how we’re building it, that’s exactly what “gets done”: a big pile of crap.  And another company bites the dust.
The primary reason every organization should put time into the “how” of delivering their products?  Because the how actually directly contributes to the value of what’s being delivered and when.  And you don’t even need to put that much thought into it.  An entire methodology has been devised (and continues to be adapted along the way) to address the very circumstances with which today’s businesses are steeped.  It’s called Agile. 

For some of you, the word “methodology” triggered your eyes to start rolling back into your head. For some of you, seeing the word “agile”turned the thinking right back to “get s*&^t done.”  I’ll talk more about what this means to your business, and how Agile dramatically increases efficiency and value, but it’s not without some of the p-word (process), so apologies in advance. I'll try to go easy.

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