The focus of the process improvement must be to support the core business, not the core business itself. The actual implementation of the best practices is subjective that depends on a specific environment or situation.
IT Tools are as good as the people-process using them. Pay attention to the people and their processes more than the tool. After all, the people define the processes, and tools are there to serve, not the other way round.
Handle IT customers and PMs with kids gloves. The opinions disguised or construed as the requirements may act as initial cracks in the foundation of the product for which the development has not even begun yet. Ask why? why not? what if?
No offense to Microsoft® Visio, I think the whiteboards and dry-erase markers are boon for the IT industry. One can use them to their advantage before diving into the technical formalization of the processes. The idea is not new; decades ago, I recall senior management folks used to take notes on paper napkins during a business meeting at some fancy restaurant. I am sure they still do. Consider a situation, where a client or someone from the client’s team acting…