Topic
7 replies Latest Post - ‏2010-06-28T14:07:29Z by B.Seidl
B.Seidl
B.Seidl
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Pinned topic Planning Milestones in an Agile Unified Process

‏2010-05-10T09:47:49Z |
My company has implemented a software development process based on AUP a while ago.

One of our biggest problems is planning the milestones to change from one phase into the next in advance.

Some of our questions:
  • When would be the best point in time to do this (the planning)?
  • What are the criteria for fulfilling the milestones?

I would be grateful for some ideas/tips.
Greetings B. Seidl
Updated on 2010-06-28T14:07:29Z at 2010-06-28T14:07:29Z by B.Seidl
  • ScottAmbler
    ScottAmbler
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    Re: Planning Milestones in an Agile Unified Process

    ‏2010-06-04T00:17:48Z  in response to B.Seidl
    What sort of planning problems are you having? You should plan to have each phase as appropriate, once you get close to the end of the phase you should plan to have a milestone review. If you keep them streamlined then the planning effort is trivial. If your reviews are big bureaucratic affairs then planning likely isn't the immediate problem that you need to address.

    The milestone criteria is defined in the AUP process material. I've got an article at http://www.enterpriseunifiedprocess.com/essays/phases.html which includes potential criteria, but in the end it depends on what's appropriate for your organization and more importantly the individual project.
    • B.Seidl
      B.Seidl
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      Re: Planning Milestones in an Agile Unified Process

      ‏2010-06-04T08:31:21Z  in response to ScottAmbler
      Thanks a lot for answering !

      You asked me what kind of planning problems we are having.

      To start with:
      At the beginning of a project we don't think about the milestones at all - means we don't even roughly plan, when we should change from one phase to the next one.

      If at all we do it as follows:
      At the end of our (bi-)weekly project meeting we have a look at the milestone criteria, which we have written down in our quality system procedure concerning our software development process, and discuss whether or not it's time to change phases.

      Quite Recently it came to my mind that right now in our projects the changing of phases is pure formalism, which doesn't help us at all developing better software respectively developing software in a better, more effective way.
      It seems to make not much difference whether or not we think about the milestones and/or change phases.

      What really helps us is estimating our progress in process (bi-)weekly and comparing it with the actual time and effort.
      And: discussing the milestone criteria at the end of the meeting starts helping us to think about what we still might have to do to reach the next phase - but, as I said, not planned in advance.

      The question arises whether it's necessary - considering the size of our projects (normaly not more then m/d) and our teams (normaly not more then 3 including the project manager) - to take the time for planning milestones we don't really need.

      Would it be too negligent to leave the planning concerning milestones and keep doing it as described above?

      Thanks again for helping.
      Britta Seidl
      • JohnHebley
        JohnHebley
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        Re: Planning Milestones in an Agile Unified Process

        ‏2010-06-06T20:52:43Z  in response to B.Seidl
        I assume that you are referring to the change from Elaboration to Construction. If so, then I would not make a big deal of it. I have held the belief for some time that this is a grey area more than a phase-gate type milestone. After all, the work is essentially the same, it's only the motivation that changes.

        John Hebley
        • Mark.Lines
          Mark.Lines
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          Re: Planning Milestones in an Agile Unified Process

          ‏2010-06-07T01:30:52Z  in response to JohnHebley
          Speaking for myself, the Elaboration milestone has never been a grey area. For me it is a critical point in a UP project, wherein we provide management with updates regarding refined scope, credible estimates for completing the project (based on a baseline of a few iterations for building working software).

          HOWEVER, for an AUP, or DAD project, especially for a team of 3 people that you mentioned, there is no point making things more formal than they need to be. I agree that, as long as you focus on reducing uncertainty by building software asap, you needn't make a fuss of an Elaboration phase.

          Perhaps Mr. Ambler is willing to "elaborate" on his thoughts in regards to Phases on a Disciplined Agile Delivery project. In the brand spanking new RP250 2-day course on Introduction to Disciplined Agile Delivery, this is covered in some detail. (enquire about scheduling a course in your area ;-)

          http://www-304.ibm.com/jct03001c/services/learning/ites.wss/us/en?pageType=course_search&sortBy=5&searchType=1&sortDirection=9&includeNotScheduled=15&rowStart=0&rowsToReturn=20&maxSearchResults=200&language=en&country=us&searchString=rp250
          Mark

          Mark Lines
          Discussion Facilitator
          • B.Seidl
            B.Seidl
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            Re: Planning Milestones in an Agile Unified Process

            ‏2010-06-15T08:19:03Z  in response to Mark.Lines
            Thanks again for helping.

            I didn't answer right away because I thought there might still come up some interesting contributions.

            I really would be interested in the "Elaboration" of Mr. Amblers thoughts about Phases on a DAD project.

            It might be difficult for me though to schedule a RP250 course, because of time ("my area" is the black forest, Germany) and fees.

            Nevertheless this discussion helped me a lot already.

            Greetings,
            Britta Seidl
            • ScottAmbler
              ScottAmbler
              158 Posts
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              Re: Planning Milestones in an Agile Unified Process

              ‏2010-06-20T19:27:34Z  in response to B.Seidl
              I Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) we have three phases:
              1. Inception -- To things started.
              2. Construction -- To build/buy the solution.
              3. Transition -- To release the solution.

              DAD suggests several milestones:
              1. Stakeholder concurrence -- By the end of Inception the primary stakeholders should have a shared vision regarding what is to be achieved.
              2. Proven architecture -- Early in construction you should have a working, end-to-end skeleton of the solution which addresses major technical risks. In UP this was the heart of the milestone at the end of elaboration.
              3. Continued feasability -- For long projects, on a regular basis explicitly ask whether it makes sense to continue with the effort.
              4. Sufficient functionality -- Is there sufficient functionality developed to make sense to deploy? This is the end of construction.
              5. Production readiness -- Does it make sense to release the system into production. This is the end of transition.
              • B.Seidl
                B.Seidl
                4 Posts
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                Re: Planning Milestones in an Agile Unified Process

                ‏2010-06-28T14:07:29Z  in response to ScottAmbler
                Thanks (again) for elaborating. Sounds very interesting.

                I hope in the near future I will have some more time to take a closer look
                at this subject.

                Since I startet this thread, I will now mark it answered.
                I hope that's okay - it's the first thread I started.

                Greetings,
                Britta Seidl