Processes as hurdles and personal value systems

People have different value systems on what makes work worthwhile

Profile pictureToni Petrina
Published on 2022-06-123 min read

    While reading comments on Hacker News for How big tech runs tech projects and the curious absence of Scrum (, I've found a really interesting discussion: whether or not to create a JIRA ticket for every miniscule change or improvement. The poster argued that requiring such a "steep" hurdle demotivates certain people and in fact has an adverse effect. Primarily because small improvements will simply stop happening, but also due to such people leaving organization with such strict rules.


    I find this whole back-and-forth fascinating, because it mirrors my experiences in the workplace. There are some people who really like process around everything an engineer does, and some people who really don't like it. They're almost two distinct personality types, and it's virtually impossible to get them to agree because it's like asking someone to change their personality.

    I happen to be one of the types who dislikes heavy process-oriented project management, and reading mr-ron's responses is admittedly making my blood boil. But I bet he reads some of the responses to his remarks and probably has similar reactions.

    Some people thrive with heavy process, and some people wither. Some people thrive with light-weight process, and some people wither. I don't know how to structure an organization to support both types of people in it, but it's not an easy problem to solve. That's why there are so many project management methodologies, with new ones popping up every few years and then inevitably disappearing in favor of something new and better. timmytokyo on Hacker News

    Another poster has a different take on how easy it is too match PR with a ticket.

    Especially since Im pushing for engineers being able to create quick ad-hoc tickets within 30 seconds. mr-ron on Hacker News

    The problem with this discussion is with the value systems and outcomes. To put it in plain words, if the requirements are hurdles and the outcome is optional, then the outcome simply will not happen.

    It is difficult to reconcile these viewpoints without one side losing something in the process. For process oriented people, losing the control means letting go of the crucial process. For others, being forced to go through red tape is either discouraging, annoying or demoralizing.

    It would be too easy to say to the first group "stop being a control freak" or "just follow processes" to the second group, but there is a slight difference: it is far worse to be forced to do something you disagree with than to let go of something you consider necessary.

    Sad conclusion is that processes and red tape accumulates due to other group simply receding in the background.

    The only question is - which system is better for the people and for the actual work being produced.

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