There is a lot of conversation about process and tools on this forum.
Most of which is very enlightening and helpful. It is especially nice
to get insight prior to a purchase, not have to do the same research
someone else has already gathered, and have the benefit of industry
leader's experience. But I sense the very natural desire to find the
"perfect" application or process. I think it is important to not get
too intrenched and approach this as more modular.
In the mid eighties Michael Gerber wrote a great book called "The E-
myth Revisited". One of the stronger take aways from that book is to
refine your process and institutionalize it across the organization.
He attributes much of McDonald's success to the refinement of process
and the consistency with which they implemented it.
There are, however, two common misinterpretations of Mr Gerber's
writings. The first is that the process is static. To
institutionalize process is dangerous, to not regularly question a
process is irresponsible. Constant challenge and refinement of the
process is an integral part of McDonald's formula. Second, designers
are problem solvers not widget makers (at least I hope most of us
are). A rote design process will become problematic.
I might suggest, as many already practice, that not only in design
but also in design research, having a set of tools that can be mixed
and matched with a diverse staff, is a better arrangement. Though
many projects may seem to have the same or similar criteria, it is
worth the time to evaluate methods, tools and process for each
project, just as we do with design constraints, goals and objectives.