With an exciting development project ahead, some of which David alluded to in a recent blog entry, I am looking closely at what has worked in the past. I had good success implementing some of the strategies of Extreme Programming (XP) and to that end I am now partway through Extreme Programming Applied (the one everyone recommends). Agile methods and complex web applications seem like a match made in heaven.
While XP doesn't deal with specific coding standards for a particular language (like PHP), it does provide the kind of guidance that seems to naturally lend itself to good code. Between pair programming and unit testing, the bases are covered for functionality and knowledge sharing. But I still see the need for something like PHPDocumentor combined with a clear set of rules for how to write those DocBlocks. Armed with all that and some clear objectives from the top, the road to a flexible, high quality system seems walkable.