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Summary

  • Successful projects are usually characterized by the existence of a strong architectural vision and the application of a well-managed iterative and incremental development lifecycle.

  • Architecture describes the significant decisions that have been made with regard to both structure and behavior and usually reflects an architectural style. A strong architectural vision enables the construction of systems that are simpler, are more robust and resilient, enable more effective reuse, and are easier to maintain.

  • Iterative and incremental development occurs when the functionality of the system is delivered in a successive series of releases (either internal or external) of increasing completeness, with each release being an iteration. The selection of what functionality is developed in each iteration is driven by the mitigation of project risks; the most critical risks are addressed first. The iterative and incremental approach is at the heart of most modern software development methods, including agile methods, as it is a very effective technique for managing risk and change.

  • All software development processes exist somewhere on a process continuum, with agile methods on one end and plan-driven techniques on the other. The choice of the right software development process for a particular project is driven by the project’s (and the organization’s) characteristics and involves configuring a development process that reflects a balance between agile and plan-driven processes that matches the project’s position on that continuum.

  • In this chapter, the software development process framework is described from two perspectives—the overall software development lifecycle (the macro process) and the analysis and design process (the micro process). The choice of lifecycle style (e.g., waterfall, iterative, agile, plan-driven, and so on) affects the macro process, and the choice of analysis and design techniques (e.g., structured, object-oriented, and so on) affects the micro process. Whether you choose an agile or a plan-driven process as your macro process, the object-oriented analysis and design tips and techniques described in the micro process section can be applied equally well.

  • The purpose of the micro process is to take the requirements provided by the macro process (and possibly the analysis and design specifications produced by previous iterations of the micro process) and produce analysis and design specifications that are fed back into the macro process. Ultimately, the micro process produces specifications for the implementation that are built, tested, and deployed in the macro process.

  • The micro process is comprised of four key activities (identify elements, define element collaborations, define element relationships, and detail element semantics). Each iteration of the micro process involves iterating through these activities for a set of behavioral requirements at a specific level of abstraction. The basic steps and the resulting products are about the same for all levels of abstraction; what differs is the level of detail (lower levels of abstraction result in more detailed products).


  

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