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Re: [XP] Re: RUP is Agile? -- Rational tools

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  • Ron Jeffries
    ... In fact it might not, though I would take either side in a debate on the subject. More pointed questions might be: Can an instance of RUP be configured
    Message 1 of 33 , Sep 1, 2003
      On Monday, September 1, 2003, at 11:10:28 AM, Steven Gordon wrote:

      > So, given that RUP is a framework, does it even make sense to ask if RUP is
      > agile?

      In fact it might not, though I would take either side in a debate on the
      subject. More pointed questions might be:

      Can an instance of RUP be configured that is agile? The answer to this is
      yes, it is possible,.

      Is RUP focused in any fundamental way towards agility? I would say that
      the almost hidden core of the framework does support agility, in that it
      is focused on incremental and iterative development.

      Is RUP easy to configure in an agile fashion? It depends what you mean by
      "easy". An expert in agility can easily do it. A team that is not already
      expert in agility is not likely to do so, as their "agile values" are
      probably not strong enough, nor their experience strong enough, to avoid
      the pitfalls.

      Is RUP commonly configured in an agile fashion? I have never seen a RUP
      instance in use which I consider agile. I believe that the RUP "menu" is
      like a candy store. It is very difficult to avoid buying too much.

      > One view might be to ask how does this framework constrain what can or
      > cannot be an instance of RUP? It would be these constraints that would
      > define the extent to which instances of RUP can be agile. Presumably, it is
      > possible to define very agile processes in RUP. Of course, any process (be
      > it an instance of RUP or not) can be applied in an agile way, although in
      > some cases the only way to be agile seems to be to work around the formal
      > process when it is being counterproductive.

      I would not agree that any process can in fact be applied in an agile way,
      at least if "applied" means actually doing it. Pure waterfall, which no one
      does of course, is an example of a process that cannot be done in an agile
      fashion in my opinion. Any process that is strongly phased would have this
      difficulty to a greater or lesser degree.

      As another example, it is very difficult to imagine an agile application of
      Cleanroom.

      > Another view would that there must be a process for creating an instance of
      > RUP, even if that process is not defined other than by instructions,
      > manuals, help screens, and consulting services. That process would be a
      > software development process process, or meta-process. The question then
      > becomes how agile that meta-process is.

      Although my first reaction was different, I think this is interesting. Part
      of software development agility is in the adding and removing of process
      elements. So instead of predefining what our RUP instance is, perhaps we
      could have a meta-process that draws in and kicks out process elements
      based on what is going on on the process. Hmm ...

      > Maybe, this meta-process is actually too informal for new users. If the
      > designers of RUP want to claim that RUP is agile in principle, and would be
      > in practice if only its users would follow their sage advice, then perhaps
      > RUP should come with an explicit meta-process. Then, customers defining
      > instances of RUP would have an explicit methodology that will lead them to
      > define the leanest possible development process for their project and also
      > give them ways to add to that process later if they discover new needs
      > during their project.

      I think that the various plug-ins are sort of RUP By Example, which is
      intended to do something of the same thing. Based on my experience with the
      XP Plug-in, I'm not entirely delighted with the effectiveness of that
      notion.

      I don't think it's the fault of the RUP creators: people seem to be able to
      pervert even the most clear writing, i.e. mine. I do think that the fact
      that Rational sold expensive tools to use with RUP was in conflict with the
      desire to be agile, and it seems unlikely that IBM will exhibit a business
      interest in scaling down software development process.

      They should: creation of more software will create the need for more
      hardware in deployment. But I'm not sure they're likely to get it. I hope
      they do.

      Regards,

      Ron Jeffries
      www.XProgramming.com
      Just because we learned something new today doesn't mean we were
      frickin' idiots yesterday. -- Chris Morris, possibly paraphrasing someone.
    • John D. Mitchell
      ... [...] ... No, I just gave you a definition of platform . What you do with that definition is your business. Now, if you re asking what I think about what
      Message 33 of 33 , Sep 2, 2003
        >>>>> "Ron" == Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...> writes:
        >>>>>> On Monday, September 1, 2003, at 11:40:23 AM, John D. Mitchell writes:
        >>>>>>> "Ron" == Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...> writes:
        >>>>>>>> On Monday, September 1, 2003, at 9:48:53 AM, Steven Gordon writes:
        [...]

        >>>> Maybe, it is a marketing platform?

        >>> I don't understand this use of the word "platform". But maybe it is.

        >> Check out:

        >> http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=platform

        > John, if you are supporting the view that the RUP is a platform, I don't
        > get it. Vide infra ...

        No, I just gave you a definition of "platform". What you do with that
        definition is your business.


        Now, if you're asking what I think about what RUP is/is-not, I think "it"
        comprises two primary facets w.r.t. this discussion:

        First, it's a *label* for something that is actually a specific
        "meta-process".

        Second, it's a *label* that is used to market a pile of (usually ridiculously
        expensive) products and services.

        Personally, I don't presume that there is any a priori overlap or
        intersection between those two facets. :-)

        Take care,
        John
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