My wife and I are both in the IT world. She is a project manager that for most of her working life has been employed by Fortune 100 companies. She works on software products that go into the marketplace and whose teams are counted in hundreds. It can be years before a product gets from conception to the marketplace. Her products are developed for the target business community.
I, on the other hand, am a somewhat knowledgeable Oracle guy whose biggest company has been 400 people if you count the part-timers. I work on projects where most times the number of team members can be counted on one hand. If we come up with an estimate of 3 months, management says "break it up" to shorten the development time. My projects are all internal endeavors whose primary goal is to help the business make more money or be more efficient.
She has always been an advocate of following a development process. A development process allows you to measure the progress of each phase of the project. Each phase of the project is defined by the work product that must be produced by the end of phase. If the process is followed, the resulting product has been good quality and usually makes a lot of money for the company.
My group works in what you could call the 80/20 methodology. We try to get 80% of the functionality into the users hands in a very short time. The other 20% of functionality will come when the business decides spending time developing a solution is cost effective and will bring greater benefit to the business than not doing it. Each project is short in nature and its success can be measured in how much time we can save or how much revenue it brings in. Sure, we have bugs in our software, but who doesn't?
At the end of the day, we both get the job done. She tries to explain how the process works even when milestones are not met. She can tell you how much of the phase is complete and the day it will be done with about 95% accuracy. I don't get it. I try to explain how my users expect results, not a document explaining what we will do. We need to solve a problem today, not 14 months from today. She doesn't get it. Is software utopia in the middle somewhere?