I think the model used to develop a game is really depending on what type of game you make. I’d like to address the fact that not every type of game needs to be high-end performing. As a guideline though, whatever type of development model which allows you to be productive is useful.
Do you have a ton of ideas which needs to be tested before you can decide upon stuff? Like /u/RukiTanuki suggested on Reddit to the girl making a science-based dragon MMO 1; There are several ideas to take into account.
The one i liked the most of his proposals is where he suggests that you make some prototypes/mini-games before you make an actual game. This allows you to evaluate concepts early and decide how they feel/what they add to the game in general.
I think another important thing is the interaction between the asset management and the development team is crucial. Using an internal wiki as a design document might be suitable for a small game making team. This might extend into a public wiki aswell which can help players in the game.
Me and some friends will probably start working on a game sometime soon, and we’re currently discussing this a lot. I’ll definitely recall and reuse the idea about getting a head start and something playable as soon as possible.