Magic Process Dust

14 Nov 2017

[A followup to Squishy Human Fails At Task]

Once you get the team used to "people don't fail, processes fail", you're still only halfway there.

The next thing that happens, with the best will in the world, is that people report failures and add the sentence "we'll change the process so that this doesn't happen again", as a sort of get-out-of-jail-free-card.

But it's not a card. It's a rock hammer. Process change is the tool, but you still have to do the work.

And, like in debugging code, if you don't know why something failed, you don't yet know why its replacement will also fail - but you're doomed to find out.

So, though it might seem that I'm being unnecessarily precise, even finicky, I'm actually just trying to get the answers to four questions:

  1. What was the old process?
  2. Was it followed? (If not, what makes us think that the new process will be?)
  3. In what way did it fail?
  4. How does this new process address that way?

Anything else is just Magic Process Dust.