Well, it can be a word used to explain a methodology of how to efficiently migrate from Point A to Point B with a predictable and intended outcome. It can also be a word used to explain a negative experience…as in, “What a process I endured registering my car at the DMV!”
We on the Internet Strategy team strive to utilize and communicate the former definition of process. So, how do we do that?
First, we have a process that is continually being refined but fundamentally already works well. The challenge is that we are managing a process that is foreign to anyone who is not a geek: the Web development process. When a new Web project begins, we attempt to communicate this well-oiled process in detail: what will happen when, what you need to do, when you need to be available and when we will hide in our caves creating code, developing functionality and cutting and pasting content. Then there is testing, testing and more testing.
Second, we stick to the process so that we know what comes next and where the challenges lie. Following our predetermined steps saves time, money and frustration and cuts down on surprises. Somebody once told me, “Clients don’t like surprises.” Well, we don’t either, and sticking to the process helps reduce unforeseen challenges for everyone.
Third, as frustrating as following process can sometimes feel, it forces everyone to focus and pay attention. Process may seemingly slow down the effort, but there are several moving parts in Web development, and process allows succinct coordination of simultaneous efforts to meet at the proper time. This results in efficiencies of time and money for our clients.
Let’s think about this in the context of real life. Mornings. Not everyone functions well in the morning, right? But what helps you arrive at work with (matching) shoes on your feet is that you probably have a faithfully followed process or system. This process saves you time, creates the outcome you are intending and hopefully guarantees that the kids are dropped off at school instead of the dog. What if you skip steps or completely ditch the process? That outcome would be akin to the mornings you oversleep. Those are fun, aren’t they? To say that nothing runs smoothly on those mornings would be an understatement.
The Web team avoids oversleeping at all costs. We do that by respecting and following process—and by setting extra alarms. There is a reason that process, in some form or other, has existed since the beginning of time. It works.