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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Inception Phase - One of the phase of Rational Unified Process

There are 4 phases which together constitute the rational unified process namely:
  1. Inception phase
  2. Elaboration phase
  3. Construction phase
  4. Transition phase
This article is dedicated entirely to the first phase of the unified process i.e., the inception phase. The major development takes place in the iterations of development which are carried out within each phase. All of the above four phases have their unique key objective as well as milestones.

The accomplishment of the objective is denoted by the milestone. An RUP hump chart is used for the visualization of all the four phases of the rational unified disciplines and phases over the time. 

Objective of Inception Phase

- The primary objective of the inception phase provide adequate scope to the software system or application as a basis on which the validation of the budgets and initial costing could be done.
- The inception phase involves the establishment of a business case which is inclusive of the following:
  1. Business context
  2. Success factors such as the market recognition, expected revenue and so on.
  3. Financial forecast
- In order to complement the business case, the following things are generated:
  1. A basic use case model
  2. Project plan
  3. Initial risk assessment
  4. Project description which in turn includes the following:
    a)   Key features
    b)   Constraints and
    c)   The core project requirements

- Once the generation of the above mentioned sources is complete, the verification of the project begins against the following criteria:
  1. Stake holder concurrence on the following:
  a)   Cost estimates
  b)   Schedule estimates and
  c)   Scope definition
  1. Understanding of the requirements as per the evidence obtained by the fidelity of the use cases.
  2. Credibility of the following:
  a)   Cost and schedule estimates
  b)   Priorities
  c)   Development process and
  d)   Risks involved
  1. The depth and breadth that was developed for any architectural prototype.
  2. Establishment of a base line using which the planned expenditures and actual expenditures can be compared.
- If for one or the other reason the project is unable to pass the milestone (commonly termed as the life cycle objective mile stone) then there are only two possibilities after redesigning the program (for meeting the criteria in a better way) as mentioned below:
  1. It can be cancelled or
  2. It can be repeated
- This phase is involved with launching the project. 
- A proper business case can be developed for the project. 
- It is by the end of the inception that the development team comes to whether to carry on with the project or not. 
- In inception phase, one can see a core idea being developed in to a vision for a product. 
- In this phase may reviews, discussions, etc. are carried out regarding the business case involved in the project. 
- The scope of the project is delimited in the inception phase and also the product feasibility is established. 
- This is perhaps the smallest of all the phases of a project and also according to its ideal nature it should be short. 
- If the duration of the inception phase is too long it indicates that there has been an excessive up – front specification (even though this goes against the spirit of the rational unified process.).

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