Recently a few people have shared stories with me about how they have run up against processes that felt too complex or overly formal, processes that they feel have got in the way of the just do it philosophy that runs deep in the Free Software culture.
My view has always been pretty simple here: the whole point of processes is to organize creativity in ways that (a) reduce confusion (b) optimize collaboration and output, and particularly in Free Software, (c) maintain transparency.
The challenge with projects such as Ubuntu is that our community is huge, and encompasses many different teams, each with their own processes. With this kind of scale it is almost impossible to do a process sanity check with any kind of regularity. As such, we really rely on a Find It And Fix It approach to things. In other words, if you feel a process is to complicated or formalized and actually makes collaboration less attractive, then we need to take a step back, review the process, and improve it.
The underlying moral of this story is – if you come up against a process that is sub-optimal, we should never, and I mean never, ever, ever, ever just say “well, that is the process and that is how it works”.