Agile Project Management Frameworks–Open Unified Process (Open UP)

This is the ninth 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 cover the very minor players that were considered to have too small a marketshare for John Stenbeck to even cover them in his textbook.    Nevertheless, out of curiosity and for completeness’ sake, I will include them in this series of posts.   Yesterday’s post was about the Essential Unifired Process (EssUP).   Today’s post covers the Open Unified Process or OpenUP framework, another methodology that, like Agile Unified Process (which was covered in an earlier post), was derived from the Rational Unified Process (RUP) methodology.

The Open Unified Process (OpenUP) is a part of the Eclipse Process Framework which is managed by the Eclipse Foundation, a consortium of software industry vendors.    OpenUP targets small and collocated teams constituting 3 to 6 people and involving 3 to 6 months of development effort.

1.  OpenUp History

  • 2000–Scott Ambler and Larry Constantine write a collection of books that became the foundation of Unified Process (UP), which later developed into Rational Unified Process
  • 2000-2003–IBM subsidiary Rational Software corporations develops UP into Rational Unified Process
  • 2005–Open source content was added to RUP to create Basic Unified Process (BUP) and transitioned to the Eclipse Foundation
  • 2006–BUP renamed OpenUP

2. 4 Features OpenUp has in common with its parent RUP

  1. Iterative development
  2. Use Cases and scenarios during development
  3. Risk Management
  4. Architecture-centric approach

Most optional parts of RUP have been excluded, with many of the remaining parts merged.

3. The 3 Layers of Organization in OpenUp

  1. Project Lifecycle–divided into 4 phases:  Inception, Elaboration, Construction, and Transition, each of which provides stakeholders and team members with opportunities for collaboration and decision points (“go or no-go decisions”) at the end of each phase; results in a released application
  2. Iterations–time-boxed intervals typically measured in weeks, focusing on delivering incremental value to stakeholders which progresses towards delivering results for each phase mentioned above in paragraph 1
  3. Micro-increments–short units of work (measured in a few hours to a few days) that produce a steady measurable pace of project progress by a committed, self-organized team; results in iteration objectives mentioned in paragraph 2

In the description of the organization of OpenUp given by the Eclipse Foundation in

the image is that of a series of interlocking gears for the different layers of organization of the project.

4. The 4 Principles of OpenUp

  1. Balance competing priorities to maximize stakeholder value
  2. Collaborate to align interests and share understanding
  3. Focus on the architecture early on to minimize risks and organize development
  4. Evolve to continuous obtain feedback and improve

Like other Unified Process frameworks, there are quite a few defined roles related to development, deployment, and the organizational environment.

The Dutch University of Groningen and the Swedish Linneaus University both heavily use OpenUp, as does the Dutch HU University of Applied Sciences in Utrecht.

The next post, the tenth and last post in this series, covers the Spiral Framework.


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