The overriding goal of the inception phase is to achieve concurrence among stakeholders on the life-cycle objectives for the project.
• Establishing the project's software scope and boundary conditions, including an operational concept, acceptance criteria, and a clear understanding of what is and is not intended to be in the product
• Discriminating the critical use cases of the system and the primary scenarios of operation that will drive the major design trade-offs
• Demonstrating at least one candidate architecture against some of the primary scenarios
• Estimating the cost and schedule for the entire project (including detailed estimates for the elaboration phase)
• Estimating potential risks (sources of unpredictability)
• Formulating the scope of the project. This activity involves capturing the requirements and operational concept in an information repository that describes the user's view of the requirements. The information repository should be sufficient to define the problem space and derive the acceptance criteria for the end product.
• Synthesizing the architecture. Design trade-offs, problem space ambiguities, and available solution-space assets (technologies and existing components) are evaluated. An information repository is created that is sufficient to demonstrate the feasibility of at least one candidate architecture and an initial baseline of make/buy decisions so that the cost, schedule, and resource estimates can be derived.
• Planning and preparing a business case. Alternatives for risk management, staffing, iteration plans, and cost/schedule/profitability trade-offs are evaluated. The infrastructure (tools, processes, automation support) sufficient to support the life-cycle development task is determined.
Primary Evaluation Criteria
• Do all stakeholders concur on the scope definition and cost and schedule estimates?
• Are requirements understood, as evidenced by the fidelity of the critical use cases?
• Are the cost and schedule estimates, priorities, risks, and development processes credible?
• Do the depth and breadth of an architecture prototype demonstrate the preceding criteria? (The primary value of prototyping a candidate architecture is to provide a vehicle for understanding the scope and assessing the credibility of the development group in solving the particular technical problem.)
• Are actual resource expenditures versus planned expenditures acceptable?
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.