OpenUP/Eclipse EPF Team Comes to Boulder

A week or so back, members of the EPF (Eclipse Process Framework Project) met in Boulder. (learn more about this project at http://www.eclipse.org/epf/general/description.php). Member/attendees included Kurt Sand and Chris Sibbald (Telelogic), Per Kroll and Ricardo Balduino (IBM/Rational), Ana Paula Valente Pereira (Whatever Consulting), Nate Oster and Ken Clyne (Number Six) and Bjorn Gustafsson (GoodSoftware). Guests included Ryan Martens from Rally Sofwtare (day one only), and yours truly (day 2 only). I had worked with Per Kroll and Bjorn Gustafsson back in Rational days, so it was fun to see old friends at work, still advancing software practices.

It was interesting to gain an understanding of the purpose of this project (“aims at producing a customizable software process engineering framework, with exemplary process content and tools, supporting a broad variety of project types and development styles”). I was motivated to attend the meeting as I feel there is a significant need in the industry for a better documented, flexible, and agile-based process that can scale to the needs of the larger enterprise. Hoping that OpenUP will address some of that need, I attended the meeting to learn and provide whatever guidance I could based on my ongoing experiences in transforming some of the worlds largest software enterprises in becoming more agile.

I was not disappointed as I see this team evolving to a more natively-agile, yet enterprise-extensible model. To quote from some excerpts from the meeting:

•    “Agility that Scales” is a tag line that has been used since about May (for RUP and OpenUP) and has resonated in the market place.  There has been some resurgence in interest in RUP of late.
•    The names “StartUP”, “StepUP” or “ScaleUP” had some traction with the group since it captured the minimal, complete, extensible message and avoids the “this is THE process”.  The “StepUP” (or “ScaleUP”) may be different for every organization, drawing on the practice library as required.  The following draft list of practices would be part of StartUP (immutable, must do):
1.    Iterative (plan, assess)
2.    Continuous Integration
3.    Concurrent Testing (Developer test, system test)
4.    Two levels of planning
5.    Agile Team (Define, Build, Test; Self-organize)
It was proposed that we call this base configuration  “The Agile Kernel”.  The additional practices added to get OpenUP could be called ScaleUP.  So, OpenUP is:
1.    Agile Kernel
2.    StepUP which includes the following practices:
a.    Evolutionary Architecture
b.    Evolutionary Design
c.    Use-Case Driven
d.    Shared Vision
e.    Practice Authoring Guidelines

I agree with this team that this could be an interesting future framework for the agile enterprise, and with the process authoring tools and the potential for natively hosting an off-the-shelf- or customized process inside Eclipse on the practitioners desktop, where it could reach the developer with direct, day to day impact, I have resolved to watch this forum for future developments that could be of benefit to the larger software enterprise. I’ll keep you posted.

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