Wednesday, August 18, 2004

The Paradox of Processes

Viewpoint of an Entrepreneur - A Business Intelligence Software Blog - IT War Stories - Process Kills. Without Process You are Dead.

This is a very interesting Blog (By Nari Kannan - IT Toolbox) indeed. I simply had to Blog this Blog. ;)
Having been into Paradoxes for some time now and also given the fact that I have a soft corner for processes, this one was irressitable. How true it is that startups cannot afford to spend too much time on establishing processes because they are in a market that is moving at break-neck speed and they have something to prove as in in competition with the stalwarts. Too much of a focus on processes would de-motivate people who want to be fast and and want to have the freedom to set things right right away and want to change things on the fly! On the other hand, allowing them to have their own way and not emphasizing on any process will take its toll in the long-term. It becomes that much more difficult to learn things from the past and to go up the value chain and maturity levels. Not to speak of the fact that they are competing in a market that demands for process compliance and certifications.
The old-timers have already set their processes in stone and are looking at improving them incrementally if not radically. But herein the employees are getting frustrated about the rigidity and inflexibility that comes with we--established and mature processes. And then, there might too much of an emphasis on processes which might in turn kill innovation and speed at times.
But what I want to look at is actually the people/culture and softer aspects out here. Of course, the primary question is whether we know when to draw the line and decide to ignore processes (read the traditional way of doing things) and go the ad-hoc way. But the secondary question and probably the more important of the two is to do with the egos of the stakeholders. Will the quality manager give in and ask the project manager to go his own way and not stick to processes when he sees that the occasion calls for the same? Will the project manager give in and agree to follow the process to the T when he knows that the situation calls for the same? Will both of them compromise in situations that call for a balanced approach? Will the management understand and encourage the 2 stakeholders when they complement each other or will it be perceived as a battle of egos?

Interesting paradox indeed! Everything is a paradox....!
Jumping from just processes to something bigger....Ultimately, life seems to be nothing but the management of paradoxes! If one can't live with paradoxes, then life is no rose-bed...!

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