Excellent thinking Dennis. It’s so true that some people fetishize process and lose sight that’s its purpose is to serve the people and the project. Since every project is a little different, it only makes sense that the process should adjust to meet each project’s unique needs.
I don’t think it’s true that process and structure inhibit creativity. I find that boundaries fuel creativity. A blank canvas can be too overwhelming. But as soon as you throw in a unique problem and some technical constraints, it kicks the creative mind into gear.
Process can be considered as just another piece of that structure. For some people, adding more structure actually helps them focus their creativity. But that’s the thing about creativity — it’s different for every person too! Some people thrive in structure and some people get stifled by it. Another reason to design your design process around what works best for you and your clients, not just what some bigshot design firm thinks you need to do.