Cranky Rant: On Process

Have an test requiring me to fast at 3pm today, so no eating for me.  CRANKY!

It occurred to me today to add-up all the time I've spent in the last 2 years trying to define processes.  Then I realized if I did, I'd probably become violently ill or just violent. 

My last attempt.  Seems like it should be this simple:
  • Have a list of crap for people to do.  Whoever populates that list is THE BOSS, whether his/her title says so or not.  If bad stuff gets on that list and causes you to fail, that person accepts responsibility.
  • Make sure someone [competent] covers each item.  In the world of fairy farts and gooseberries, he'll choose from that list altruistically.  In the real world, someone takes a bite out of the crap sandwich and gets assigned work.
  • When people don't get their crap done, they feel consequences. If they can't ever get their crap done satisfactorily, you fire them.
  • When people do get their crap done, regularly, you promote them.  When they stop getting their crap done, you demote them and promote someone else.  (Take THAT, Peter Principle.)
I think with  the above 4 points, I've violated every single methodology in practice today.

 I am so frustrated at Process, more so than I am with Architecture (note: both capitalized).  Process is the fetish for people who get off on telling people what to do.  Architecture is the fetish for people telling boxes on a Visio what to do.  That is, it's at least less ego-centric than 'Process'--Visio sprites don't have feelings.

* * *

Do we need processes?   Yes, we do.  I'm not naive.

I guess I'm saying I'm not your man for developing them because I don't see any sense in me wasting one more breath defining one.  All seem equally bad in their own ways, and distract from whatever is The Task at Hand:
  • If you want Waterfall, I'll have plenty of time to think through the problem, which isn't bad.  I'll also have plenty of time to resent the decisions we made way too early,  and the time spent writing "write only" documentation that covers our butt if (when) things go wrong.  But, at least I'll have plenty of time, minus that month+ of crunch at the end of every waterfall project.  At least you'll stay out of my face for a good long while.
  • If you want XP, I'll work somewhere else.  Any process that responds to failure with "You're doing it wrong," isn't a process, it's a religion, and I have one of those already.
  • If you want Scrum, I'll be rapidly doing whatever you pass in front of my nose with nary a whiff of long-term thought.   I'll be feeling good and staying heads down, but we'll likely build track in parallel many times over.  I'll debate story points endlessly and stonewall that your Epics aren't broken down enough and we'll generally meet together and do no work until we strangle enough people that the remainder can make forward progress ("Storming/Norming/Performing" indeed!)
  • If you want Kanban, I'll smile and move my cards from the left to right side of a board and chuckle inwardly that this is the best organizational principle we can come-up with 70 years after the invention of the Digital Computer, and it's the end-all-be-all Because Toyota Does It.

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