#121 - 16 Jul 2022
In praise of process; There will always be more problems than people
Process has a bad rap - Paulo André
That’s right, I said it in the talk above - in public and everything. I’m a big fan of documented processes. Not processes for their own sake, but processes that already exist but aren’t documented anywhere.
But! “Process” gets a bad rap, especially in our line of work - research institutions tend to have accumulated over time huge lists of bureaucratic processes that stifle getting work done, instead of helping by making it clearer how to do things.
André talks about how to avoid that - processes should have clear purposes, documented with the process - maybe even purposes for each step. Then it’s clear why things are the way they are, and if the situation changes, they can change too. To help that, the processes should explicitly be owned by someone - preferably in the team doing the work - so it’s clear that they can be changed. Otherwise things become too hard to change, and when they can’t change easily they get stagnant. Finally, processes shouldn’t be more prescriptive than they have to be.
You will always have more Problems than [team members] - Matt Schellhas
A reminder from Schellhas that no matter the size, level in the organization, or funding levels, there’s never enough people to do everything good and useful that could be done. That means, yes, leaders who ruthlessly prioritize are key. But it also means training team members to prioritize. Applying technical judgement to possible activities is a crucial skill for everyone, from juniors up, and the sooner they loon it the stronger they’ll be.
A great walk through with nice visuals of Delaunay Triangulations.
Research computing is fun and weird. Here’s a Rust package for estimating the size of a critter that pooped.
And that’s it for another week. Let me know what you thought, or if you have anything you’d like to share about the newsletter or management. Just email me or reply to this newsletter if you get it in your inbox.
Have a great weekend, and good luck in the coming week with your,