Some companies think they’re applying iterative and incremental development, but in practice are doing waterfall development. Here are some tips described in Applying UML and Patterns, by Craig Larman, which can help you discover if your company doesn’t understand the Unified Process and iterative development (these tips can clarify all stakeholders misunderstanding about the difference of the two approaches):
- You think that inception = requirements, elaboration = design, and construction = implementation (that is, superimposing a waterfall lifecycle onto the UP).
- You think that the purpose of elaboration is to fully and carefully define models, which are translated into code during construction.
- You try to define most of the requirements before starting design or implementation.
- You try to define most of the design before starting implementation; you try to fully define and commit to an architecture before iterative programming and testing.
- A “long time” is spent doing requirements or design work before programming starts.
- You believe that a suitable iteration length is four months long, rather than four weeks long (excluding projects with hundreds of developers).
- You think UML diagramming and design activities are a time to fully and accurately define designs and models in great detail, and of programming as a simple mechanical translation of these into code.
- You think that adopting the UP means to do many of the possible activities and create many documents, and thinks of or experiences the UP as a formal, fussy process with many steps to be followed.
- You try to plan a project in detail from start to finish; you try to speculatively predict all the iterations, and what should happen in each one.
- You want believable plans and estimates for projects before the elaboration phase is finished.
Are you involved in such a situation at your company?