During the first part of the project, the process-oriented team seems less productive than the process-phobic team because the level of thrashing is the same on both projects, and the process-oriented team appears less productive because it is spending a significant amount of its time on process.
By the middle of the project, the team that focused on process early has reduced the level of thrashing compared to the beginning of the project, and has streamlined its processes. At this point, the process-phobic team is just beginning to realize that thrashing is a significant problem and then begin to institute some processes of its own.
By the end of the project, the process-oriented team is operating at a high-speed hum, with little thrashing, and it is performing its processes with little conscious effort. This team tolerates a small amount of thrashing because eliminating the last bit of thrashing would cost more in overhead than would be saved. When all is said and done, the overall effort on the project is considerably lower than the effort of the process-phobic team, and therefore considerably less costly.