How to Use 1074

How to Use 1074

1074 is a step-by-step guide to implementing the nine steps explained to create an SLCP. In keeping with the customization nature of this IEEE standard, practitioners have found that the steps specified in the standard can be further simplified to the following six steps.

Step 1. Select the SLCM. This starting point allows the project manager to select the life cycle model with which he has the most experience, one proposed by the organization, a model requested by the customer, or a new model that research has shown may have promising quality improvement results. For this description, we will select the simplest model to implement, the basic waterfall model shown in Figure 2.

Consider the Basic Waterfall Process Model

In the beginning, the project manager or process architect shall identify the SLCM to which the activities will be mapped. This step includes locating, evaluating, selecting, and acquiring an SLCM. It is possible for an organization to have multiple SLCMs; however, only one model is to be selected for a project. Mixing models within projects adds to confusion and nondeterministic collection of project metrics. It is suggested that the process architect or project manager follow the following five steps to evaluate and select an SLCM:

1.  Identify all the SLCMs that are available to the development project.
2.  Identify the attributes that apply to the desired end system and the development environment.
3.  Identify any constraints that might be imposed on the selection.
4.  Evaluate the various SLCMs based on past experience and organizational capabilities.
5.  Select the SLCM that will best satisfy the project attributes and constraints.

Step 2. Compare activities to SLCM requirements. Having selected an SLCM, the project manager executes a detailed mapping of the activities against the SLCM. This includes matching the activities against the main phases of the SLCM. This step provides a checklist to ensure that all activities are mapped and that all SLCM requirements are covered by one or more activities. The easiest way to complete this is to take the 1074 map and add columns for each of the major SLCM phases. Using our basic waterfall model, we would add columns titled Requirements, Design, Implementation, Test, Installation and Checkout, and Operation and Maintenance. Figure 3 shows this. At each cell in which a 1074 activity is used in a life cycle phase, a check is placed. When all the activities are analyzed to see where (and if) they fit a phase, the table is sorted so that the activities with no phase cell checks are at the bottom. Do not delete them from the table; in this iterative process they may be required in a later step.
Compare Activities to SLCM Requirements

Wrapped into this step are Steps 3 and 4 from 1074. Step 3 is to develop and justify the list of activities not used. Though that is a noble effort, it is generally quite easy in a review session to decide what is in and what is out. Practitioners have found that keeping detailed reasons for not selecting an activity for a specific project does not aid in making this decision for the next project. 1074 Step 4 is to list activities and invocations. The list of activities already exists in the 1074 modified map. Invocations are nothing more than the triggers into the support processes, such as configuration management, that are used in the phase.

Step 3. Place the activities in time sequence. Table 2 represents the activities map with dates placed in the phase cell. The order in which activities will be performed will be determined by three major factors:

1.  The selected SLCM will dictate an initial ordering of activities. As mapping progresses, the actual order in which activities will be performed will be established. This will generally differ from the original order of the 1074 activities map.
2.  Schedule constraints may need the overlapping of activities in the SLCM and may therefore impact the ordering. In this case, activities may be mapped for parallel execution rather than for serial execution. This provides the project manager with a first order look at the feasibility of the schedule.
3.  The ordering of activities may be impacted by the entry and exit criteria of associated activities. This will be further analyzed in Step 4.

When this is completed, the table is sorted again so that the activities are in date order.

Step 4. Check information flow. The input and output information tables in 1074 specify the information that is to be used and generated by each activity. This step verifies that the information flow into and out of the activities will support the relative order into which they have been mapped. Although it is unlikely that this will cause a main rearrangement or modification of the mapping, it is a essential check to be sure that all information will be available when and where required. Figure 4 shows this for the Establish Project Environment activity.

Check Information Flow

Step 5. Assign activity output to deliverables. Each SLCM process requires and defines the format and content of its own set of outputs. These products are the specific artifacts that the SLCM delivers. Note that the term artifact does not imply any particular medium. This step compares the output information that is generated by each activity with the SLCM-required artifacts into which it must go. Once again, the order of the mapping, this time from Step 4, might have to be modified. If a specific artifact, as specified by the selected SLCM, is to be created at a particular point in the development schedule, all the activities that contribute information to be recorded in that document must have had an opportunity to generate it.

Step 6. Add life cycle support processes. This step in 1074 is discussed as adding an organizational process asset (OPA): 1074 defines OPAs as "artifacts that defines some portion of an organization's software project environment". Practitioners define the life cycle support processes as the project-specific processes based on a project's SLC and the integral and project management processes used by the organization. These integral processes contain configuration management, metrics, quality assurance, risk reduction, and the activities of estimating, planning, and training. These are already included in the 1074 map and have been addressed once. The purpose of this step is to ensure that all phases of the SLC have adequately accounted for the effort required by the project management and integral process activities. This step is a further sanity check on the project estimates and schedule.

After Step 6 is completed, the project and organization will have in place an SLC process. Figure 5 shows how the information used in the SLC process definition just described fits within an organization. The processes on the left side of the figure are all the activities listed on the 1074 map. As a project manager, you have used this map, referenced process improvement models such as the Software Engineering Institutes Capability Maturity Model and the selected life cycle model, to derive your SLCM. From this model, you derived the specific subset of the model for your project's SLC. After that, you begin to turn activity artifacts into deliverables such as your project's software development plan.

Organizational Relationship of SLCM

Place the Activities in Time Sequence

1074 Applied

Using the process defined in IEEE 1074 for defining a software development life cycle is one of the most important tools available. The idea of a roll-your-own life cycle is critical to cycle time reduction and continuous process improvement. A couple examples of how it is used will introduce its flexibility.


life cycle, attributes, ieee
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