Agile Project Management Frameworks–Essential Unified Process

This is the eighth in a series of posts devoted to outlining the various agile frameworks that exist in the world of agile project management, based on the book “PMI-ACP and Certified Scrum Professional Exam Prep and Desk Reference”, by John Stenbeck.

The first three posts covered those frameworks which are covered on the PMI-ACP exam, namely, Scrum, Extreme Programming (XP), and Lean Software Development (LSD).   The next three posts covered the relatively “minor players” in the marketplace, Feature Driven Development (FDD), Agile Unified Process (AUP), and Crystal, that are covered in John Stenbeck’s textbook.

The next series of three posts will cover the very minor players that were considered to have too small a marketshare for John Stenbeck to even cover them in the textbook.    Nevertheless, out of curiosity and for completeness’ sake, I will include them in this series of posts.   Yesterday’s post was about the Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM).    Today’s post covers the Essential Unified Process, another methodology that, like Agile Unified Process (which was covered in an earlier post), was derived from the Rational Unified Process (RUP) methodology.

The Essential Unified Process for software development, or EssUP, was invented by Ivar Jacobson as an improvement on the Rational Unified Process (which is also the “parent” of Agile Unified Process or AUP.   It identifies practices which are borrowed from Rational Unified Process and agile development in general.    The idea is to pick those practices that are applicable to a particular solution and to combine them into a project management process.    RUP, on the other hand, has practices which are intertwined and cannot be taken a la carte, so to speak.

1. 5 Essential Practices (taken from

  1. Architecture Essentials–allows you to ensure that the architecture selected for the project is fit for purpose.
  2. Iterative Essentials–allows you to adopt an iterative, timeboxed approach to managing and monitoring the project.
  3. Use-Case Essentials–enables you to capture requirements in an agile fashion and to use them to drive the development and testing of the solution.
  4. Component Essentials–allows you to develop software in a simple, scalable, test-driven fashion
  5. Product Essentials—captures the essence of product management to enable you to get closer to your customers and identify your major releases.

2. 4 Cross-Cutting Practices

  1. Process Essentials–ensures continuous process improvement
  2. Team Essentials–captures the essence of collaborative team working
  3. Modeling Essentials–describes an agile approach to modeling
  4. Unified Process Lifecycle Essentials–provides a set of phases and milestones to help plan and track iterative projects.

The practices have all been built on real-world experience and each practice is presented as a set of process cards that contain the elements of the process including

  • competency definitions
  • activity definitions
  • artifact definitions, and
  • process patterns.

It is meant to be agile, iterative, and most important, lightweight in the sense that it is modular and can be adapted to the needs of any given project.

The next post presents yet another agile framework that was derived from the Rational Unified Process framework, namely, the Open Unified Process or OpenUP framework.


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