process maturity and the schedule

When we started our project nobody bother about <activity A> because we had very tight delivery schedule.”

Every so often, one sees a statement of this form.  I think it points out that “Activity A” is not an essential part of the process.

It could be because ‘Activity A’ isn’t perceived as having enough value yet.  I think it is a sign of process maturity when this statement doesn’t occur.  For example, I remember a time when we threw tests and the automated build out the window for emergency bug fixes.  Over time, we appreciated the value of these tools and especially the safety net they give us.  I don’t think anyone has thrown out these parts of the process in years!

What really hits me with the quote is that, ‘Activity A’ is perceived as having some value since the author of the quote feels compelled to justify why it wasn’t done.  This is like justifying not brushing ones teeth!

As a process matures you get different levels of value:

– not there yet – don’t even feel the need to make excuses

– immaturity – do the activity sometimes but throw it out the window when things get tough

– maturity – do the activity always

This activity could be anything.  Seeing it get done for emergency production fixes really shows me it has been fully embraced as part of the process.

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