I have been using the outflanking method since the early 70's and highly endorse Micheal's description.

I would add that after time the ability to SEE the negative on lightbox, then easel makes your first decision on contrast and density much easier.
Also I encourage all printers to pay attention to the image emerging in the developer as dodge and burns become very evident and a lot of time wastage is avoided by visually SEEING the image before you even put on the room lights.