Why Process Is Not The Outcome We Desire

   Lean Startup

Process is not the goal.

It’s not the end of the journey. It’s not the reason we should be excited.

Innovation is seemingly limitless, and industries are changing overnight. According to Richard Foster’s Creative Destruction the average life expectancy of a Fortune 500 company has gone from 75 years to less than 15 years. The rate of failure, change, and business risk all continue to climb at a rate of ever-increasing velocity.

Enter process.

Process allows the systematic approach to decrease risk, increase success, and allow innovation to thrive as we enter the pioneer era of the open web.

In the beginning we created Waterfall to bring a consistent approach to software development lifecycle from requirements to production. We created Agile to replace Waterfall and bring in the reality of business change, and the need for development to pivot alongside the business. We created LeanStartup and LeanUX to take Agile a step further with validation and minimum viable products to ensure that we build the right products.

With every one of these process revolutions comes with it the loud spoken evangelists that sing its praises from the mountaintops with religious fervor. They build communities of like-minded process fanboys. They attend conferences, wear the t-shirts, and write the books. They disdain the old way, and they glorify the present.

Enter the problem.

Process is not the goal. It’s simply a tool.

I’m all for process, but within the right context.

I’m excited about what can be accomplished with a small software team that is both Lean and Agile. The ability to scope and implement products has never been more cost effective using these principles.

However, it’s important to realize that the process is just a tool. The tool will evolve and will continue to drive innovation further. This is critical because keeping process within this context allows it to continue to change and improve. With this context established we will continue to push product development and the innovation of the open web to new heights.

Process is a means to an outcome. The outcome is better delivery, better innovation, and better products. Process is at its simplest level the tool to get us there.


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