Opportunity Options Planning Architecture Build Ready Deploy


Project Management

AFrame is a Solution development lifecycle that represents the "systems part" of a business change and sits inside the broader business change cycle. AFrame provides an "unambiguous language" within an organization. It forges links and creates common understanding among all stakeholders of a project. This enables IT to achieve a repeatable and predictable process that removes risk early in the project lifecycle. AFrame is a scalable framework that can be applied to all types of projects.

AFrame is structured in two dimensions: phases, which represents the major steps that a project goes through over time, and activities, which represent the logical activities that take place throughout the project. The serial aspect of the lifecycle is captured in its phases and the iterative nature of the lifecycle by the activities.

The phases of the lifecycle are like the seasons of the year. For example, during Solution Planning youíll do the same sorts of activities that you do during Build Solution, but the extent that you do them, and the order in which you do them may change. During Solution Planning a project team will spend a lot of time writing initial use cases in order to understand the scope of their system, but if they write any code at all it is likely for user interface (UI) prototyping. During Build Solution any use case work will likely be to finalize the definition of a use case before writing the detailed source code which implements it. During both phases you work on use cases and source code, but in different ways.

Each phase ends with a well-defined milestone. At these points, the stakeholders assess the project, including what has been done and the plans for moving forward. A go/no-go decision is made about whether to proceed with the project. Each phase has a specific set of goals and deliverables, which are addressed within the iterations of the phase, so that the phase milestone may be met.

There are three observations to be made concerning the phases:

1. Activities continue in each phase.

AFrame phases can be divided into one or more iterations, although the term "increment" is more appropriate. Iterations address only a portion of the entire system being developed (unlike the waterfall approach, which attempts to do it all at once). Each iteration stage has a fine-grained plan with a specific goal. Iterations build upon the work done by previous iterations and assemble the final system incrementally. When an iteration ends, in particular during the Build phase, a small subset of the system has been completed which could conceivably be deployed to users as a release, even if only as an alpha or beta version.

During a phase and sub-iterations you will alternate back and forth between the activities (eg Requirements, Design, Build), performing each task to the extent needed at the time, to achieve the goals of that iteration.

The activities are:

  1. Business Modelling
  2. Requirements
  3. Analysis and Design
  4. Engineering
  5. Testing
  6. Deploying
  7. Configuration and Change Management
  8. Project Management

2. Work products evolve during each phase.

Work products Ė models, plans, source code, and documents Ė evolve throughout the life of your project. Work products arenít finished until you release your system into production, in fact you may find that youíll be doing requirements modeling the day before you release.

3. Each phase ends with a go/no-go decision.

Your stakeholders must agree to move forward into the next phase. This may entail reworking your strategy for running the project, or they must agree to cancel the project. A project may be cancelled because itís not acceptable due to quality concerns (e.g. lack of appropriate documentation), it is deemed too expensive to deploy and/or support (Business Case no longer valid), or the strategic direction for the company may have changed. Although it is rare, it is possible that a project may even be cancelled at the end of the Deploy phase.

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