Does Process Belong in a Startup?

I’m often confronted with the question about adding process to a small software development team of a Startup. It seems to be a common myth that adding process to a small team hampers the speed and pace at which developers must develop to quickly get a product to market at a startup. That process on a small team takes time away from developers that they could be using to develop the product. That process is a luxury for development once out of the startup phase. This is not only false but can actually lead to missing deadlines, poor quality, poor team moral, and extra resources.

I have been part of development teams at startups with the “Wild West” mentality of each developer focusing on their piece and only communicating when they need something with little to no accountability. These teams always miss deadlines, have a poor product, have frustrated engineers, and managements answers seems to be to through more bodies onto the project. I’ve also been part of and lead development teams that did incorporate process. The difference is night and day. Process brings projects on schedule, holds them to higher quality, has happy developers, and doesn’t require more resources or time then the “Wild West” method.