The transition phase is entered when a baseline is mature enough to be deployed in the end-user domain. This typically requires that a usable subset of the system has been achieved with acceptable quality levels and user documentation so that transition to the user will provide positive results. This phase could include any of the following activities:
1. Beta testing to validate the new system against user expectations
2. Beta testing and parallel operation relative to a legacy system it is replacing
3. Conversion of operational databases
The transition phase concludes when the deployment baseline has achieved the complete vision. For some projects, this life-cycle end point may coincide with the life-cycle starting point for the next version of the product. For others, it may coincide with a complete delivery of the information sets to a third party responsible for operation, maintenance, and enhancement.
The transition phase focuses on the activities required to place the software into the hands of the users. Typically, this phase includes several iterations, including beta releases, general availability releases, and bug-fix and enhancement releases. Considerable effort is expended in developing user-oriented documentation, training users, supporting users in their initial product use, and reacting to user feedback. (At this point in the life cycle, user feedback should be confined mostly to product tuning, configuring, installing, and usability issues.)
• Achieving user self-supportability
• Achieving stakeholder concurrence that deployment baselines are complete and consistent with the evaluation criteria of the vision
• Achieving final product baselines as rapidly and cost-effectively as practical
• Synchronization and integration of concurrent construction increments into consistent deployment baselines
• Deployment-specific engineering (cutover, commercial packaging and production, sales rollout kit development, field personnel training)
• Assessment of deployment baselines against the complete vision and acceptance criteria in the requirements set
• Are actual resource expenditures versus planned expenditures acceptable?
Each of the four phases consists of one or more iterations in which some technical capability is produced in demonstrable form and assessed against a set of criteria. An iteration (discussed in Chapter 8) represents a sequence of activities for which there is a well-defined intermediate event (a milestone, discussed in Chapter 9); the scope and results of the iteration are captured via discrete artifacts (discussed in Chapter 6). Whereas major milestones at the end of each phase use formal (stakeholder-approved) versions of evaluation criteria and release descriptions, minor milestones use informal (internally controlled) versions of these artifacts. Each phase corresponds to the completion of a sufficient number of iterations to achieve a given overall project state. The transition from one phase to the next maps more to a significant business decision than to the completion of a specific software development activity. These intermediate phase transitions are the primary anchor points of the software process, when technical and management perspectives are brought into synchronization and agreement among all stakeholders is achieved with respect to the current understanding of the requirements, design, and plan to complete.
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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.