Why Processes Help Even If You Are a "Fast-Moving" Company
I have spent a good 6 years working in a newsroom where every day was a unique experience.
This is what a ‘’Happy Path’ looked like in the day of the life of a news producer (my perspective).
I had to generate 5 new story ideas for the day and get them approved in the editorial meeting.
Start working on the scripts.
Coordinate with ground reporters and stingers for visuals or bites around the stories.
Write a promo for the show and coordinate with the promo producer.
After the first story is written, get the voice-over done.
Work with the video editor to cut the visuals, bytes, and clips.
Work with the graphics team to create Intros, Outros, and plates.
Produce a live discussion, invite guests - arrange pickup/drop.
Review the edited video.
Repeat the above steps for other stories( 3 or 4 times)
Work with the PCR director on the show rundown and push the clips through a workflow.
Watch the live show.
Add new stories for the morning show.
and REPEAT THIS EVERY DAY.
This was a 10-hour shift. Add breaking news to this and the entire equation changes.
Despite all the volatility, ambiguity, and chaos - the only thing that made all this work was ‘the systems or processes’’.
There were many other producers like me who had their own time slots, including live news bulletins, and yet the system hardly failed.
In case it did, producers improvised and kept the show running.
In the software development analogy, this is a major release every day or sometimes multiple times a day.
Deployment days can be a whirlwind of activity, but having a well-defined process in place can help to ensure a smooth rollout.
In software development, this translates to thoroughly testing the software, clearly communicating the changes to stakeholders, and having a plan in place for any issues that may arise.
What’s the Purpose of a Process?
"The purpose of the process is to ensure consistency. A good process is like a checklist that ensures the right things get done by the right people at the right time" Peter M Beaumont, Fractional COO.
In software development, a well-defined process is necessary to control the complex development of software projects.
This is because ad-hoc approaches can lead to ambiguous communication, inaccurate risk assessment, insufficient testing, and uncontrolled change propagation.
A formal development process provides visibility into the project, enables timely management control, and helps to organize workflow and outputs to increase individual and team productivity.
The adoption of a formal development process with clear policies will result in meeting the stakeholders' needs accurately, including necessary features, and reducing post-development costs.
Some may argue that processes can slow down start-ups and high-growth companies.
In my opinion, It may get them off the blocks and beyond the first iteration, but after that, it's well-defined processes that keep them on course.
Software development is not a sprint but a marathon.
In summary, the importance of a well-defined process in software development cannot be overstated.
The adoption of a formal development process provides numerous benefits, reduces the risk of failure, and helps to ensure a successful outcome.
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