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It’s the Processes, Stupid!

In 2006, while testing one of my (then) #startup‘s flight simulators at a military trade show, a flight instructor Captain asked me, “What’s your Ph.D. in?”. Quoting a popular TV commercial, I responded, “I don’t have one. But, I did sleep in a Holiday Inn Express last night!”. After a puzzled look appeared on his face, his boss (a Colonel) leaned over to him (with a huge smile) and said, “It’s the #processes, stupid!”. I then admitted that I’m a poli sci major with an MBA. He then asked, “How the hell did you come up with this?!?”, to which I responded, “Because I know #processes!”.

As a political science major, I’ve worked on some of the most technologically advanced projects you can imagine: high speed rail, evacuated tube transport, image generators, flight simulators, etc. Some so advanced that they’re only now coming to light, nearly 30 years later. How? Because it’s not the #technology that matters most – it’s the #processes you utilize to create that technology! A good #projectmanager doesn’t need to be an expert in the tech to be able to manage a team of scientists & Ph.D.s to create that tech. All you have to know (and know how to use) is #processes. After all, that’s all that #management is… #Processes.
Take #gamedevelopment, one of the most technologically difficult endeavors I’ve come across. We have 57 different job descriptions – #artists (2D, 3D, texturing, etc.), #programmers (C#, C++, JavaScript, Unity, Unreal, PHP, etc.), #animators, mathematicians (calculus), #designers (level, environment), writers, #producers, #techartists, etc. The thing is, all the people on the project need to be on the same page – literally – in order for them to work together as a team, and complete the project on time/on budget. They cannot do that without a good #plan, which outlines all the #processes they’ll utilize to create their technology. The better the #plan, the better the #technology. The better the #processes, the better the #plan.

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