This week, my team was on the opposite side of the process vs. product discussion. This time, ignoring the process would make the service better, but the price to be paid ended up being too high to make the end result worth it.
It is impossible to know without a doubt what matters more at the moment. Walking the tightrope between process and product is an attempt at seeing the future. As a leader, making decisions requires you and me to look ahead at the potential outcomes and make the right choice.
As I said, there was a request recently that would make the service better but jack with the process. The request was fulfilled, but every spare moment was crammed with trying to make it happen. As a result, we lost focus on other things that then became distractions during the service, actually making the product worse. For us, being distraction-free is a baseline, non-negotiable value for production, so this seems pretty unacceptable.
The thing about walking the tightrope all the time is that it is difficult to know beforehand when the process is the most important or the product matters more.
Someone asked me how I make the choice. In order for each side, product and process, to believe that both matter, decisions need to be made in either’s favor in somewhat equal amounts. As a leader, the production team needs to know that the process matters to me a lot, and the programming team needs to know that the outcome of the service or event matters to me a lot.
Trust is key. Do the people you work with trust that you are making the right decision? Are you giving equal time to both sides of the tightrope? Hopefully, all signs point to yes.