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We are currently re-evaluating the way we manage, plan and run our projects (an area that I think we can massively improve upon) so I just wanted to get some ideas as to how other development teams go about starting new a web application project.

At present, following the initial client meetings we produce a simple planning document that outlines what we intend to create for them (this usually contains screen shots of the various sections of the app and some detail about what each page will do). Once we have sign-off on this, this is what is used to by the developers as a blueprint to develop from. I can't help but feel we are lacking here as the client planning document simply isn't detailed enough and doesn't really show any of the business logic decisions made in the application.

Following development, the application goes to testing where the testers record bugs in an Excel spreadsheet. I feel this is also a very basic way of doing things, I have looked at web apps like Sifter and think this is how we should be doing things. We use TFS as our source control but the bug-tracking in there is overkill for what we need.

So what I'd love to know from you guys is, what sort of documentation you produce for projects and what processes you follow during planning and development.

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If you plan projects in an Agile fashion then I found that RallyDev is a good tool for tracking sprint work through User Stories. It does defect tracking as well and works great for my purposes, much better than an Excel spreadsheet, eww. –  maple_shaft Dec 21 '11 at 13:06
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Use Jira for bug tracking, TFS is not a great bug tracking tool and lacks some useful features. Once requirement has come in , you need to have a tracebility matrix mapping the customer requirements to your understandings, which can be best put in Use case diagrams. The Tech Architect or lead developers can then start putting a High level design document Once that is done get a Low level design document in place and have those main / sub items tracked in a work break down structure so as to come up with cost estimates and timelines , timelines can then be tracked in micorosft project planner

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That seems like a giant leap for the OP –  sq33G Dec 21 '11 at 11:39
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I happen to love FogBugz for bug tracking. Disclaimer, it is part of Stackexchange.

The have a free two-user version that you can use online to see if you like it.

As for your "planning documents" for clients, I much prefer something that a client can actually interact with on the screen. The best implementation I have seen for this is Sketchflow which is part of Microsoft Expression Design. Unfortunately this is designed for Silverlight only but it is definitely worth watching the short video for ideas.

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