The number of iteration-specific, informal milestones needed depends on the content and length of the iteration. For most iterations, which have a one-month to six-month duration, only two minor milestones are needed: the iteration readiness review and the iteration assessment review. For longer iterations, more intermediate review points may be necessary. For example, on projects with very formal test procedures that must be witnessed by other stakeholders, a test readiness review may be held at which the test plans are reviewed and approved. Large-scale, unprecedented projects may also use intermediate design walkthroughs as forcing functions for progress assessment and dissemination throughout the project.
All iterations are not created equal. An iteration can take on very different forms and priorities, depending on where the project is in the life cycle. Early iterations focus on analysis and design, with substantial elements of discovery, experimentation, and risk assessment. Later iterations focus much more on completeness, consistency, usability, and change management. The milestones of an iteration and its associated evaluation criteria need to focus the engineering activities on the project priorities as defined in the overall software development plan, business case, and vision.
• Iteration Readiness Review. This informal milestone is conducted at the start of each iteration to review the detailed iteration plan and the evaluation criteria that have been allocated to this iteration.
• Iteration Assessment Review. This informal milestone is conducted at the end of each iteration to assess the degree to which the iteration achieved its objectives and satisfied its evaluation criteria, to review iteration results, to review qualification test results (if part of the iteration), to determine che amount of rework to be done, and to review the impact of the iteration results on the plan for subsequent iterations.
The format and content of these minor milestones tend to be highly dependent on the project and the organizational culture. Figure 9-4 identifies the various minor milestones to be considered when a project is being planned.
Iteration N Initiation
Iteration Readiness Review
Iteration Design Walkthrough
Iteration Assessment Review
Iteration N Closeout
FIGURE 9-4. Typical minor milestones in the life cycle of an iteration
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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.