We believe in the benefits of following a structured PM process. We just think it should not be so odious or overwhelming that you don’t get any actual work done on the project. We understand that our clients want to see results in a reasonable period of time and that things change during a project life cycle.
So that being said we don’t have the months needed to work with clients and document the 1-2″ binder with the Functional Specification in it. Neither do we have time for the 3-5″ binder with the Detailed Design Specification that has every report and every screen completely laid out documented in it. Sometimes I miss those days and all the client meetings that created them but in today’s world you just have to be more nimble. That being said I am not a fan of the Bar Napkin Design or the Bullet Point Design Specification either – you need something with a little more information than 3-5 bullet points or a couple of words on a square napkin.
So – what do we use? We believe in using what I would characterize as a Simplified Agile PM Model. We use this model internally and for all Projects we run for our clients, even the BI Projects. We follow the basic outline of project phases many of you are familiar with (Idea & Initiation, Planning, Execution and Closure). But we aren’t using a Waterfall method so we may be working on parts of Planning while still finishing up Initiation, or involved in Execution (development and testing) while still working out the Planning for the implementation of the solution.