Info

High-fidelity elaboration phase plan

Use case model

Initial design model

Life-cycle architecture milestone

High-fidelity construction phase plan (bill of materials, labor allocation)

Low-fidelity transition phase plan

Stable vision and use case model

Evaluation criteria for construction releases, initial operational capability

Draft user manual

Stable design set

Make/buy/reuse decisions

Critical component prototypes

Initial operational capability milestone

High-fidelity transition phase plan

Acceptance criteria for product release

Releasable user manual

Stable implementation set

Critical features and core capabilities

Objective insight into product qualities

Product release milestone

Next-generation product plan

Final user manual

Stable deployment set Full features Compliant quality

events, depending on several factors discussed in Chapter 14. The essence of each major milestone is to ensure that the requirements understanding, the life-cycle plans, and the product's form, function, and quality are evolving in balanced levels of detail and to ensure consistency among the various artifacts. Table 9-1 summarizes the balance of information across the major milestones.

Life-Cycle Objectives Milestone

The life-cycle objectives milestone occurs at the end of the inception phase. The goal is to present to all stakeholders a recommendation on how to proceed with development, including a plan, estimated cost and schedule, and expected benefits and cost savings. The vision statement and the critical issues relative to requirements and the operational concept are addressed. A draft architecture document and a prototype architecture demonstration provide evidence of the completeness of the vision and the software development plan. A successfully completed life-cycle objectives milestone will result in authorization from all stakeholders to proceed with the elaboration phase.

Life-Cycle Architecture Milestone

The life-cycle architecture milestone occurs at the end of the elaboration phase. The primary goal is to demonstrate an executable architecture to all stakeholders. A more detailed plan for the construction phase is presented for approval. Critical issues relative to requirements and the operational concept are addressed. This review will also produce consensus on a baseline architecture, baseline vision, baseline software development plan, and evaluation criteria for the initial operational capability milestone. The baseline architecture consists of both a human-readable representation (the architecture document) and a configuration-controlled set of software components captured in the engineering artifacts. A successfully completed life-cycle architecture milestone will result in authorization from the stakeholders to proceed with the construction phase.

Because the most important major milestone is usually the event that transitions the project from the elaboration phase into the construction phase, the general content of a typical milestone is elaborated here in more detail. From a management and contractual standpoint, this major milestone corresponds to achieving a software development state in which the research and development stage is concluding and the production stage is being initiated. A software development project ready for this transition exhibits the following characteristics:

• The critical use cases have been defined, agreed upon by stakeholders, and codified into a set of scenarios for evaluating the evolving architecture.

• A stable architecture has been baselined (subjected to configuration management) in the source language format. Stability here means that the important qualities of the architecture (performance, robustness, scalability, adaptability) have been demonstrated against the critical use cases sufficient to resolve all major requirements and design and planning risks. (Although the risks may not be resolved, the path to resolution has been defined.)

• The risk profile is well understood. Although all risks do not need to be fully resolved, there should be a common understanding among stakeholders of outstanding risks that could have serious consequences, and mitigation plans should be fully elaborated.

• The development plan for the construction and transition phases is defined with enough fidelity that construction iterations can proceed with predictable results. Predictable here means that the development organization will commit to fixed-price increments that can be transitioned to the user in less than one year.

The content of this milestone will vary across project domains. It should include at least the following:

• A presentation and overview of the current project state

• A configuration-controlled set of engineering information, available electronically or in hard copy

• An executable demonstration of capability

The technical data listed in Figure 9-2 should have been reviewed by the time of the life-cycle architecture milestone. Figure 9-3 provides default agendas for this milestone.

Initial Operational Capability Milestone

The initial operational capability milestone occurs late in the construction phase. The goals are to assess the readiness of the software to begin the transition into customer/user sites and to authorize the start of acceptance testing. Issues are addressed concerning

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