People working in big corporations are used to very specific project delivery models. Often the model consists of tens of Powerpoint slides filled with milestones, gates, steering groups and whatnot. It's not uncommon that the model is only understood by a handful of people.
Smaller companies, on the other hand, often have no formally defined model at all. This was the situation at Vincit also a few years ago.
However as the company grew, working in ad hoc mode started to cause troubles:
- sometimes same mistakes were repeated
- there was no easy way to spread new practices through the whole company
- customer's experience varied based on the team they worked with
- it was difficult to grow new project leads
We established a small working group to create a minimum viable model. First the group came up with some main requirements for Vincit's project model:
- it must support all kinds of projects (most of Vincit's business is customized agile software development, but we also do various types of consulting)
- it must not limit freedom of choice and agility - the model should tell what to do, not how to do it
- it must fit on one A4 sheet
- it must be compatible with ISO 9001:2008 certification
- it must not prevent continuous improvement
After several iterations Vincit Project Flow was created, and here you can find the latest version of it (click the image to view it in full size):
Project Flow is essentially a check list. It does not guarantee that a project will be successful, but it helps to prevent stupid errors and unify customer experience.
You'll find several mentions of BIT in the flow. BIT is Vincit's internal tool used for project's time tracking, budget management and developer allocation.
Small changes are made to the project flow several times per year and they are announced to employees using email.
Project Flow has pretty much fulfilled our wishes - however we had to relax a bit on the A4 requirement, but the flow is readable if you have good eyes. Fortunately our printers also support A3!