From the dawn of time methodologies have been introduced for absolutely everything and people have different methodologies for different things and some methodologies even fly in the face of one another. Some have different ways of describing the same thing that make so sense when commonality is required either. Some even end up confusing themselves to the point of error.
I can name a large number of methodologies that have crossed my path since the early 1990’s such as PRINCE2, ITIL, MOF, SSADM, SSM, SCRUM, AGILE, Waterfall, Six Sigma and many more. Indeed I very nearly created and published my own for SEIS monitoring in the heady days of the SEIS Scheme.
These methodologies either do different things or in some cases do the same things differently. They each put in place their own pedagogy and beliefs and in some cases brainwash the user too.
Do not get me wrong there is a place for some methodologies and some of them are useful. Those that are useful can solve complex problems such as large database table design. Some on the other hand just waste time and only serve to piss people off. Also annoying many people is the financial investment that some of these methods require in terms of training, certification, software and staff time. Indeed the training and certification components always seem costly.
So what if there was a solution. A cost effective, cross platform, cross service, cross job role, job function, cross business function and service too?
What if I told you that it had been around for decades and was very, very easily internationally understood in all cultural and intellectual circumstances, transcending all language barriers?
What if I told you that it had served its purpose well for decades?
What if I could you it has been used everywhere including by me in the middle of a terrorist incident at a major airport?
What if I told you that the barriers to entry were low, that it was very cost effective and that the only margin for error was the user or users and the level complication they brought to the process?
You would not believe me? Right?
Well, it is true, such a methodology does exist and it has been working well for decades.
The name of this method. BFP or “back-of-fag-packet” to give it its Sunday name. Very simple it is too. Simply draw what you need out on the back of one of these bad boys and relate it to your colleagues or even invite them to contribute.
Without expensive training courses, verbosity or pomp and ceremony this method has worked for years. It has solved so many problems from the simplest to the most complicated regardless of geography in an expedient fashion without fail and often brought people together. The lowest barrier to entry of any methodology ever.
This method can conceptualise anything and yes it is my favourite methodology and has been used by me in countless offices, cafes, car parks and even on an oil rig and in the middle of a terrorist incident at an airport! Many people will not admit to using BFP or the regularity with which they use it. They probably will not admit to how much help they find it either.
In a time when getting people to subscribe to methods and pay ongoing “subscription” money to subscribe to these methods is popular the old ones are still the best.
Even in retirement I will not stop using BFP even though I long ago stopped smoking!