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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Elaboration Phase - One of the phase of Rational Unified Process

The life cycle for a project under the context of the rational unified process is known to consist of the following four phases:
1. Inception phase
2. Elaboration phase
3. Construction phase
4. Transition phase

Here we shall discuss about the second phase of the unified process i.e., the elaboration phase. In Rational Unified Process, the four phases represent the process at a high level although the iterations that are carried out in every phase of development are the key to the process. 

Each phase here is provided with an objective and a milestone. It is necessary to have a milestone for each so that it could be decided that when and where a particular phase is ending and the next one is starting. All the above phases as well as the process disciplines are visualized in to what is called an “RUP hump chart”. 

About Elaboration Phase in Rational Unified Process

- The primary objective of the elaboration phase is defined as the mitigation of the key risk items whose identification is done by the analyzation of the whole phase from the beginning till the end. 
- It is here in the elaboration phase where the project starts taking the shape. - In elaboration the following 2 basic things take place:
1. The analyzation of the problem domain is done.
2. Basic form is given to architecture. 

- The following are the outcomes of the elaboration phase:
1. A use case is obtained in which both the actors and use cases have been identified. This use – model consists of most of the developed use – case descriptions. It is required that this use – case model should be at least 80 percent complete. 
2. A description concerning the architecture of the software system in a development process. 
3. An architecture that is executable and realizes the use cases which have an architectural significance. 
4. A revised risk list.
5. A revised business case.
6. A plan for the overall development of the project. 
7. Prototypes which give a demonstration on the mitigation of the identification of the technical risks. 
8. An optional preliminary user manual.

- There is a milestone criteria called the life cycle architecture milestone which involves answering the following questions:
1. Stability of the architecture?
2. Stability of the vision of the product?
3. Have the major risk elements been addressed and resolved and has been indicated by the executable demonstration?
4. Has the sufficient detailing has been done for the construction phase plan and is it accurate?
5. Have all the stakeholders agreed for achieving the current vision using the current plan under the current architectural context?
6. Is the expenditure of planned resource vs. actual resource acceptable?

- It is important that the project should pass this milestone and if it doesn’t there are 2 possibilities:
1. It can either be redesigned or
2. It can be cancelled.

- However, when the project leaves this phase, the project is transitioned in to an operation that involves high – risk i.e., to say here the changes are quite detrimental as well difficult to be made. 
- The system architecture serves as the key domain analysis for the elaboration phase. 
- The basic thing here is addressing of the major technical risks threatening the project. 
- Another thing is to have a bare system which provides answers to all of the major technical questions. 
- Once all the questions have been answered by the end, the development team will know whether a working system can be successfully built or not. 

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