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Customizing lifecycle phases [message #576306] Wed, 14 February 2007 22:28
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Originally posted by:


I have some questions about lifecycle phases, as I'm thinking of using
EPF in a scenario that involves higher ceremony software development. I
have long worked with the UP and RUP, so I very much understand the
concept of the 4 phases contained in OpenUP/Basic.

Of course, higher ceremony projects still fit into the four phases. But
I see a problem between phases as they fall into EPF, as I don't think
*all* of the disciplines' activities transition cleanly from one phase
to the next, even if the model and its WBS say they should.

An example of the problem is that higher ceremony projects may expect
certain artifacts to stabilize enough to go under change control, say,
after a formal peer review. Examples of these are requirements,
high-level design, low-level design and (possibly) code. Using the
OpenUP/Basic, these stabilization milestones fall somewhere within the
Elaboration and Construction phases, but not necessarily always on the
boundaries between the phases. In reality, iterations on a work product
not under change control are much less formal than those with change
control - change requests have to be filed, etc. The change control
example is just one dimension of the problem.

It would seem that the WBS (process) part of EPF requires defining
activities (and descriptors to tasks, work products, etc.) relative to a
*phase*. So, I think it means that I can't specify WBS differences for
evolving documents under change control within the same phase.

I see two solutions to this problem:

1) add more phases so that the change-control transitions are explicit
between phases (e.g., add a phase for when the requirements are not yet
under CC, for when the requirements *are* under change control but the
high-level design is not, etc.). This solution seems the most explicit,
since it becomes clear to all people what phase a project is in, because
such and such artifact is now under CC. It implies that if an artifact
is under CC, then any of the upstream (waterfall) artifacts are as well.

2) "fudge" the workflows in the existing 4 phases, so that I can take
into consideration CC or not. It seems that Activity diagrams can have
task descriptors with certain [conditions]. This option seems less clear
from a global perspective, but would benefit from "reusing" the
OpenUP/Basic model with perhaps fewer changes to it.

So, here are my questions related to the respective solutions I see:

1) Is it possible to add/modify lifecycle phases starting with the
OpenUP/Basic model, using the EPF plug-in approach?

2) Rather than adding finer-grained phases, how does a WBS take into
consideration the "if/then" notions of "work product under change
control" conditions?

For example, in OpenUP/Basic, the Lifecycle "Activity: Develop Solution
(for requirement) (within context)" has some alternative activities in
the workflow (using [major change] and [small change] and [trivial
change] transitions). This seems to accommodate the "gray area" between
changes. As I look at this same activity defined in the Transition
phase, I see that there is no longer the possibility for [major change],
which is consistent with the UP. So, within Elaboration and
Construction, [major change] is possible, but not in the Transition
phase. I'm wondering if this same compromise will work for my problem of
change-control transitions.

I realize that the tutorials for process authoring are "coming soon",
but I hope these questions will be welcomed just the same.


Cris Fuhrman
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