Methodology: A Coherent Collection of Theories, Concepts or Ideas

Methodology includes a philosophically coherent collection of theories, concepts or ideas as they relate to a particular discipline or field of inquiry.  If refers to more than a simple set of methods; it refers to the rationale and philosophical assumptions that a particular study.

In some cases, methodology does not refer to research or analysis techniques.  It can refer to any or every thing that can be

Another key (though arguably imprecise) usage for methodology does not refer to research or to the specific analysis techniques. This often refers to anything and everything that can be summed up for a discipline or a series of processes, activities and tasks.

Methodology is developed by the outline of who, what, where, when, and why. The processes themselves are only part of the methodology along with the identification and usage of the standards, policies, rules, etc.

To install a methodology, a project for this purpose should be established.  Use of a project management system will assist in keeping the project on time and within budget.

A Methodology Coordinator appointment is integral to the start of the project.  This person acts as Project Manager to implement the product.  In this important position, it is important that the Coordinator is a person who is:

  • respected by the development team and upper management;
  • work well with people;
  • be results oriented.

Once the Coordinator has been selected, it is time to assemble a Support Team.  The main reason for the Support Team is sharing the responsibility of implementation of the methodology within the company.  This helps illustrate that the methodology is backed by the company and isn’t the will of any single person.

The selection of Support Team members is an important process, just as the appointment of the Methodology Coordinator is.  During implementation, the Support Team has high visibility.  They will also become the in-house experts in using the methodology.

Typical Support Team positions are:

  • Methodology Coordinator
  • Enterprise Resource Manager
  • Systems Resource Manager
  • Data Resource Manager
  • Quality Assurance Manager
  • Training Coordinator
  • Project Administrator
  • Technical Librarian

Implementing a methodology does not require enormous resources.  Depending on the type of methodology, not all positions need to be filled.  Some members might even hold two or more positions on the Support Team.  Participation is rarely a full-time job if the work has been evenly distributed.

Becoming conversant in the methodology is the initial step of the Support Team. This is usually accomplished with review of the methodology documentation and pertinent training courses.

The Support Team studies the methodology and determines:

  • The supplemental tools and techniques used throughout the methodology, such as development tools, programming standards, Repositories, and Project Management aids.
  • The methodology is supported by the management infrastructure
  • Training requirements for developers, support functions, management and end-users.

During implementation, the Support Team establishes the necessary support infrastructure, finalizes the training plan, and begins to use the methodology.

During the first few projects, pay particular attention to how the methodology is used and look for problem areas. Here, the Support Team becomes a SWAT team to correct problem areas as quickly as possible. The intent is to gain momentum and perfect the use of the product (which will become an ongoing goal).

After the methodology is installed, encourage forums where the mechanics of the methodology are discussed with the staff. Such forums promote self-improvement. Although this can be performed using such things as Internet blogs and discussion groups, face-to-face meetings are more effective to clarify points (perhaps after normal working hours).

Join our RSS feed

Click here to join our feed and get the latest articles, every day!