Tech Startup vs Process

Tech Startup vs Process

2019, Jul 28    

The more process you have, the less talent you have. The less talent you have, the more process you need.

(Reed Hasting of Netflix as quoted by Bill Scott in one of his lecture about Lean UX)

I used to work for Allianz where my role was to evaluate the operational business process and SOP to see if there’s any room for improvement and automation. It almost hardwired in me and most people that, process (procedure, SOP, and the like) is good for the company. No question asked.

But as I grow into a typical “move fast, break things” software developer, and live trough various tech startup culture, I develop a certain sense against the process, like a kid against their vegetable. I hate it, many good programmers hate it, but nobody says anything because its “the right thing to do”.

It’s getting harder and harder to ship new feature out because of series of design review, user behavior analysis, 4 different QA process where each of them could potentially delay or throw the entire feature out the window.

At tech startup organization you started by aggressively ship product and features. Then the organization start brings a lot of experienced people from the corporate world to “teach” how things should be organized, introducing a lot of processes.

It’s not an uncommon story where the process creation started to happened just for the sake of making a process. They didn’t aware how it could paralyze the product pipeline and extend the product iteration lifecycle, or even worse: paralyze product shipment and innovation.

So generally its a good idea to grow a skepticism every time a new process is introduced. We can also grow several strategies around it to make the process less necessary.

For example, it is beneficial to try to have as few as possible in the team. Hire the best people we can find. When we have good people, we don’t need many people and less communication problem. We don’t waste time in the communication chain. And when we have good people, we can trust them to make a decision, cut down the standard process, and have a quicker iteration.

After all, we working in a tech industry where innovation is the heart.