When we hear about some new fangled way of writing software for money, first ask in what domain has this new idea been applied, and what were the measures of effectiveness and measures of performance for that approach?
Then ask if there is any external frameworks applicable in that domain for developing software based business systems that govern the development, deployment, and operational aspects of the work?
When the answer is yes, then next ask what are those governance frameworks? In a current engagement, ISO 12207 is the overarching framework for the development, testing, deployment, and operations of software systems. These systems provide services for Health and Human Services, Center for Medicaid Services and the disbursement of $492 billion.
The management of software development at the Federal, State, Local level, and the commercial providers of services to those levels is guided by ISO 12207 which is composed of the following processes.
Now you may say we never ever have a project of this size. Such projects are insanely large and outside any domain we'll ever see.
So the inverse question is at what size do you no longer care about:
- Resource management?
- Estimate to Complete?
- Estimate at Completion?
- Risk informed estimates of cost, schedule, and technical performance of the deliverables?
- Risk informed decision making in general?
- Definitive descriptions of the deliverables in units of measure meaningful to the decision makers?
Then look through the 12207 list above and ask, which of these process areas has NO value for my project? That is, I don't need to know how to do this while spending other peoples money.
I'll be just find in the absence of the guidance provided by this process area.
By the Way, the use of Agile methods fits right in with development work described in 12207.
With the answers to those questions, you can come back to see where you fit in the spectrum of projects.