We prefer to use an Agile methodology - or occassionally CMMI if necessary. Traditional waterfall software projects articulate a complete set of requirements - and then shift into production - with few if any intermediate checkpoints. This legacy led many software projects to failure to accomplish objectives on time or budget - or meeting the customer's expectations.
Over the last decade a group of methodologies following the Agile Manifesto have been adopted as best practise for a number of reasons.
- Project Definition
- Identify Stakeholders
- Goals, Objectives & Critical Success Metrics
- Scope & Statement of Work (SOW) with Deliverables
- Project Requirements
- Budget, Resources Available
- Graphics, Tone Desired & Existing Materials
- Email Handling, Forms Management, Document Repository, Other Custom Functionality
- Membership, Subscriptions, Roles and Editing Requirements
- Initial Site Structure
- Task List & Schedule
- Identify Risks, Adjust Scope and SOW
- Refine Budget & Obtain Stakeholder Approval
- Agile Execution (repeats)
- Initiate Regular Communication and Meetings
- Track Project Progress
- Project Change & Issue Remediation Procedure
- Project Documentation
- Closing Steps
- Stakeholder Buy-off & Wrap-up
- Final Report
Great examples of these in practise on large federal level projects include the ONC's recent Health IT successes: www.ConnectOpenSource.org and www.DirectProject.org.