Invisible Process

How do you feel when someone says the word “process”?

I’ve seen three reactions to it:

  1. Yea, it sucks, but how could we get our work done without it?
  2. Let’s check these boxes so the powers that be are happy
  3. Meh. It doesn’t affect me.

Process is at best a necessary evil to you or it’s how you get work done. It either fills you with dread or you are at best indifferent to it.

The emotional reactions towards process are inversely proportional to its impact.  That is, the right process can keep your team running smoothly where the wrong process causes everyone to cringe and complain during retrospectives.

Scrum attempted to solve this problem by narrowly defining the ‘required’ processes to a minimum and claiming that if you used other processes mixed in with scrum, you were not doing scrum!

Process has become the enemy for all right-thinking software developers; and required for medium to large teams.  

But what if your process was invisible?  What if your entire process were automated?  How would you feel about process then? 

What if the necessary code review requests were automatically sent out to the right people — people with domain knowledge in the area you’re working in?  What if the test suites you’re working on helped send an email with the method signatures and their expected / actual return values? 

What if those reports that you spend a day generating for your clients to show them how much effort you put into your work (never to be used again) were automatically generated for you?

How would you feel about process then?

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