Note on Checkpoints of the Process
In software development, all system-wide events are held at the end of every phase of development. These checkpoints provide visibility to milestones in life cycle and also to system-wide issues and problems. These checkpoints generally provide following things :
- It simply synchronizes management and engineering perspectives.
- It also verifies that goal every phase has been achieved or not.
- It provide basis for analysis and evaluation so as to determine whether or not project is proceeding as planned, and also to make correction and right action as per requirement.
- It also identifies risks, issues, or problems that are essential and conditions that are not tolerable.
- For entire life-cycle, it performs global assessment.
Generally, to synchronize expectations of stakeholders throughout life-cycle, three sequences of project checkpoints are used.
These three types of joint management reviews are given below :
- Major Milestones –
Major milestones are system-wide event that is performed at the end of each phase of development. These milestones can be used in various process models even in conventional waterfall model. They generally help in providing visibility to system-wide issues. They also help to synchronize management and engineering perspectives. It helps in verifying that target or goal of each phase has been achieved successfully or not. They are used to achieve concurrence among every stakeholder in present state of project. These milestones are very much essential to confirm and ensure that requirements understanding, life-cycle plans, and product’s form, function, and quality are at their balanced levels of details. It also helps in ensuring consistency between different artifacts.
- Minor Milestones –
Minor milestones are also called as micro milestones. They are simply monitoring points that project manager generally uses to maintain control of activities of each day. Minor milestones are iteration-focused events that are conducted to review data or content of an iteration in detailed manner and also to authorize work that has been continued. They generally divide elapsed time between major milestones into short time intervals. This is done to give confidence to us that major milestones will be achieved. Early iterations simply focus on analysis and design whereas later iterations focus more on completeness, consistency, usability, and change management.
- Status Assessments –
Status Assessments generally provides mechanism that is useful for addressing, communicating, and resolving issues or problems regarding management, technical, and project risks. Its main objective is to ensure that all expectations of all parties are synchronized and consistent. These are done to address and have check on progress and quality indicators, ensure continuous attention to dynamics of project. It also maintains communication between all stakeholders. It also provides management with frequent and regular insight into progress that is being made.
There are generally four phases in life-cycle such as Inception, Elaboration, Construction, and Transition.
Iteration also represents cycle of various activities. All four phases of life-cycle consist of one or more iterations. A minor milestone simply gets and captures two of artifacts. These two artifacts are release specification that shows evaluation criteria and plan, and release description that shows results. At the end of every phase, major milestones use informal, development-team-controlled versions of these two artifacts and minor milestones use informal, development-team-controlled versions of these two artifacts.
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