Why Engineers Hate Process and Love Structure
Why do IT engineers almost universally loathe processes? It all begins with the intent of a process: to control the way an engineer performs his or her job. The vast majority of IT engineers prefer to complete their job as they believe it should be completed.
Engineers enjoy the liberty to do their job creatively without the routine nature of a process. While a loose process may provide helpful guidelines to an engineer, the stricter the process is, the more likely the engineer is to become alienated and choose to attempt a solution their own way. Because of this, it's often better to provide an engineer with a structure.
Why Engineers Love Structure
Engineers want to know what tasks they need to complete to reach the desired results. This streamlines their work and ensures they are doing things as they should. At the same time, they don't want (or need) their hands held by restrictive protocols and procedures. Structure gives engineers what they need while not affecting their freedom.
It's not that an engineer doesn't want to be told what to do – it's that the engineer usually has a better way to get from start to finish. By simply outlining what needs to be achieved, an engineer is able to use their best judgment.
Stripping Down the Process
If your process has become too cumbersome and discouraging to your engineers, you may want to consider stripping down the process until you’re only left with the necessary structure the engineers need for guidance. A structure will give your engineers the freedom to develop their own solutions, which will often be more effective and tailored to the company's needs.
Creating structures rather than processes gives your engineers the freedom to truly enjoy their work and succeed with it. Not only will you have more satisfied engineers, but they’ll be able to more efficiently operate without any of these artificial constraints. That doesn't mean transitioning to structure will be easy: it may still take some work to identify unnecessary processes and remove them effectively.