There, I said it. I believe the road is more important than the destination. When applied to software engineering this means that having a solid process in place and following it without exception is more important than the schedule and the product. In the end, following the process results in a higher quality result.
I feel very strongly about this.
Project managers struggle with conflicting requirements. They must accommodate for both stakeholder demands and process integrity. In the face of stakeholder demands it is the process that is typically broken. Features are sneaked into the production, shortcuts are taken, and things otherwise proceed in a way that I would disagree with. Events like this and this serve as my vindication and reinforce my value system.
That puts me at odds with management and results in immense pressure and personal stress. I could easily agree that sneaking features into releases and scope creep is just fine, but that goes against my most deeply held values as an engineer. That said, I have never been a project that followed a process to the letter.
Whether you perceive this as a character flaw or a strength doesn't really matter. I know full well it is not possible to have a perfect project. I need to find a way to cope with this or otherwise I will never be happy.