Let me tell you a story, which may be an urban legend but which I heard several times from my home country fellows:
"The law initially said: you have to wear a helmet when you ride a motorcycle. One day a police officer stopped a biker, not wearing a helmet, to fine him. The biker raised his arm and said: "but I am complying with the law, I am wearing a helmet". The helmet was indeed worn, at the elbow". Since then, the French law system considers that you have to comply with the spirit of the law, not only with the law (as written).
Beside the fact that this story might be a starting point for a lot of discussion in a court, this contains a truth that regularly comes to my mind when working on projects.
Project Management should be, by definition, one of the most organised disciplines, with defined processes, artifacts, ceremonies, etc. And in the past decades, we saw the discipline evolve, improve and expand. We discovered and used new methods, learned fancy concepts, without forgetting old friends. All of these elements build a safe framework that exists to support efficient project management and make the life of project managers easier: you don't have to create new templates, you know which steps to follow, etc. But what if this framework starts becoming a stranglehold potentially endangering your project?
The project management triangle tells us that you can not have time, scope, effort serving quality (in most of the projects I run in Zalando, budget/cost is replaced by effort) altogether. So if you have a project that has a short and strict unmovable timeline, as a project manager fulfilling your daily duty, this would mean sacrificing scope and quality to meet the deadline.
You could work overtime (effort sacrifice) but for (mental) health reasons I would strongly advise against it. Or you could reduce as much "unnecessary (for the delivery)" work as possible: not filling out all the mandatory documents (scope sacrifice), or at least not following the exact template (quality sacrifice). But does it really mean you are sacrificing any of those two aspects?
From experience, here are some examples where you can follow the spirit without doing it by the book:
When a project management framework mandates to send a weekly report to your stakeholders to keep them informed, requiring you to use a very detailed template that takes several hours to complete (we all encountered this situation where the people are not available yet to provide input or will have the missing information the following day), you should think about the intention behind. This report is here to keep your stakeholders informed about current status, potential delay or risk, or if they need to support you and how. If you provide this exact same information in the form of an email to your stakeholders, you will comply with the spirit of the report, if not with the template, and will not sacrifice scope or quality. And you could do that in a limited time.
You should align on a regular basis with your project sponsor(s) / decision maker(s), preferably in meetings. If your project has only one decision maker who has a full calendar, would you consider it a quality and scope sacrifice to not have a face to face meeting to report, align and make decisions? In one of my projects, I aligned with my sponsor that I would send them a daily email (less frequently once the project would be properly scoped and all teams onboarded), reporting progress and clearly identifying if I needed something from them and by when (e.g. a decision). This enabled them to read it at a convenient time (mostly late in the evening), for me to prepare it at a convenient time (mostly at the end of the afternoon), and for our calendar to be saved from yet another meeting. As the project had to be scoped, planned and delivered within less than 2 months, this time saving adaptation was really appreciated, by the both of us.
Don't get me wrong. I am not advocating for breaking the law, not following processes or not using templates that exist for a good reason. I am just saying that under specific circumstances, it is better to understand what is the intention behind the process and to choose a more appropriate way to meet the goal, as long as you meet it. As long as this is aligned within your project, with your stakeholders or whoever is concerned, this is fine.
P.S.: You should ALWAYS understand the intention, even if you follow the process by the book!