I have been lucky enough to work with more than 50 organizations, many of them large and some small. I have observed a very peculiar problem, especially with organizations which imbibe quality models or methods such as CMMI, ISO 9001 or ISO 27001.
I have observed that the organizations start serving the method than the method serving them. On numerous occasions, when you ask a practitioner why they are doing something, their answer is interesting: “I really do not know why our method mandates us to do this.”
Methods, best practices, and guidelines were developed to support organizational businesses; organizations were not created to serve methods.
This peculiar practice is quite extensive in large software organizations as most of my clients happen to be in that category.
Most often these practices are enforced because the organization needs to get certified for a particular method or standard and the auditors/assessors look for objective pieces of evidence.
Some interesting observation is that organizations actually deploy resources to create evidence which has nothing to do with actual project delivery.
This is a sheer waste of valuable organizational resources.
How do we get out of this?
The process engineering folks in organizations should leave the bookish approach in interpreting the models/standards. In fact, most models encourage that but we as process engineering professionals overlook that.
At the same time, the auditing/assessment bodies must allow correct interpretation of the standards/models given the organizational context and train their auditors and assessors to apply professional judgment during the audit/assessment process.