I use any of the online calculators for strike temp, heat my water to a couple higher than target and pour the volume into the mash tun. I have my tun on the ground, and rest the kettle/hlt on the table and tip it over and let it pour into the tun.
Let it sit for a few minutes to heat soak the tun, then bring it down to the strike temp by stirring. Then, you just pour grains in. I never get dough balls, and my mash temp is within 1 degree of target.