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Chapter – 9 Checkpoints of the process. Introduction. The purpose of checkpoint is to achieve The following Synchronize stakeholder expectations & achieve concurrence on three evolving Perspective : Requirements , design & Plan

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The purpose of checkpoint is to achieve

The following

  • Synchronize stakeholder expectations & achieve concurrence on three evolving Perspective : Requirements, design & Plan
  • Synchronize related artifacts into consistent & balance state
  • Identify the important risks, issues & out-of-tolerance conditions
  • Perform a global assessment for the whole life cycle

Three sequences of project checkpoints are used to synchronize stakeholders expectations throughout the life cycle

  • Major milestones
  • Minor milestones
  • Status assessments
Major milestones
  • These system wide events are held at the end of each development phase
  • They provide visibility of system wide issues,

Synchronize the management & engineering

perspectives & verify that the aims of the phase have been achieved

Note:The most important major milestone is usually

the event that transitions the project from elaboration phase into construction phase

Minor milestones
  • These iteration focused events are conducted to review the content of iteration in detail & to authorize continued work
  • The formats & content of minor milestones are highly dependent on the project & the organizational culture.

Status Assessment

  • The periodic events provides management with frequent & regular insight into the progress being made
  • Periodic status assessments are crucial for focusing continuous attention on the evolving health of the project & its dynamic priorities
typical sequence of life cycle checkpoints
Typical sequence of life cycle checkpoints





Life cycle Life Cycle initial Product

objective milestone Architecture milestone operational capability release

milestone milestone














the general status of plan requirement product across major milestones
The general status of plan, requirement & product across major milestones





Life Cycle objectives


Definition of the stakeholder


Low-fidelity life cycle plan

High-fidelity elaboration

Phase plan

Baseline Vision,

including Growth

vectors, Quality

Attributes & priorities

User case model

Demonstration of at least

One feasible architecture

Make buy/reuse trade-offs

Initial design model

Stable design set

Make buy/reuse decisions

Critical component


Stable vision & use case


Evaluation criteria for

Construction release,

Initial operational capability

Draft user manual

High-fidelity construction

Phase plan

Low-fidelity transition


Life Cycle architecture


Acceptance criteria for

Product release

Release user manual

Stable implementation set

Critical features & core


Objective insight into

Product qulaties

Initial operational capability milestone

High-fidelity transition


Stable deployment set

Full features

Complaint quality

Product release milestones

Next generation product plan

Final user manual

major milestones 1 of 6
Major milestones(1 of 6 )

The four major milestones occur at the transition points between lifecycle phases which are used to achieve concurrence among all stakeholders on the current state of product.Different stakeholders have different concerns

  • Customers

schedule & budgetestimates, feasibility , risk assessment, requirement understanding,progress, product line compatibility

  • Users

Consistency with requirements & usage scenarios, potential for accommodating growth, quality attributes

  • Architects & System engineers

Product line compatibility,requirements changes, trade-off analysis, completeness & consistency, balance among risks, quality & usability.

  • Developers

Sufficiencyof requirements detail & usage scenario descriptions, frameworks for component selection or development, resolution of development risk, product line compatibility, sufficiency of the development environment

major milestones 2 of 6
Major milestones ( 2 of 6 )
  • Maintainers

Sufficiency of product & documentation artifacts,understandability, interoperability with existing systems, sufficiency of maintenance environment.

  • Others

possibly many other perspectives by stakeholders such as regulator agencies, independent verification & validation contractors, venture capital investors, subcontractors, associate contractors, & sales & marketing teams

major milestones 3 of 6
Major milestones ( 3 of 6 )

The four major milestones are

  • Life cycle objectives milestones
  • Life cycle architecture milestones
  • Initial operational capability milestone
  • Product release milestone
major milestones 4 of 6
Major milestones( 4 of 6 )

Life Cycle objectives milestone

The life cycle objective milestone occur at the end of inception phase.This will result in authorization from all stakeholders to proceed with elaboration phase

  • The goal is to present all stakeholders a Recommendation on how to proceed with development including a plan,estimated cost & schedule, expected benefits & cost savings
  • The vision & critical issues related to requirements & operational concepts

are addressed

  • A draft architecture & a prototype architecture demonstration provide evidence

of the completeness of the vision & the development plan

major milestones 5 of 6
Major milestones( 5 of 6 )

Life cycle Architecture milestone

The Life cycle architecture milestone occurs at the end of elaboration phase

  • The primary goal is to demonstrate an executable architecture to all stakeholders. A more detail plan for construction phase is presented for approval
  • Critical issues relative to requirement & operational concept are addressed

The software development project ready for this transition exhibits the following characteristics

  • The critical use case have been defined
  • A stable architecture is baselined
  • The risk profile is well understood
  • The development plan for the construction & transition phase is defined
majormilestone 6 of 6
Majormilestone (6 of 6 )

Initial operational capability milestone

The Initial operational capability milestone occurs late in the construction phase. The goals are

  • To assess the readiness of the software to begin the transition into customer / user sites & to authorize the start of acceptance testing
  • Issues are addresses concerned to installation instructions, Software version description & user manuals & the ability of the development organization to support user sites.

Product release milestone

The product release milestone occurs at the end of the transition phase.The goal is to assess the completion of the software 7 its transition to the support organization

  • The results of acceptance testing are reviewed & all open issues are addressed which includes installation instructions,software version descriptions,user & operator manuals, software support manuals & installation of the development environment at the support sites
minor milestones 1 of 3
Minor milestones ( 1 of 3 )

The number of iteration specific, informal milestones needed depends on the content & the length of the iteration

For most iterations only two minor milestones are needed

  • Iteration readiness review
  • Iteration assessment review
minor milestone 2 of 3
Minor milestone ( 2 of 3 )

Iteration readiness review

This informal milestone is conduct at the start of each iteration to review the detailed iteration plan & evaluation criteria that have been allocated to this iteration

Iteration assessment review

This informal milestone is conducted at the end of each iteration to assess the degree to which the iteration achieved its objectives & satisfied its evaluation criteria

minor milestone 3 of 3
Minor milestone ( 3 of 3 )


Typical Minor milestones in the life cycle of an iteration






Iteration N-1


Iteration N

Iteration N+1




Iteration N Initiation







Iteration N


periodic status assessments 1 of 5
Periodic Status Assessments( 1 of 5 )

Managing risks requires continuous attention to all the interacting activities of a software development effort.

Periodic status assessment are

  • Management reviews conducted at regular intervals to address progress & quality indicators
  • Ensure continuous attention to project dynamics
  • Maintain open communications among all stakeholders
periodic status assessment 2 of 5
Periodic Status Assessment ( 2 of 5 )

Objective of periodic Status Assessment

The main objective of status assessment is to ensure that the expectations of all stakeholders are synchronized & consistent.

Periodic status assessment serve as project provide the following

  • A mechanism for openly addressing,communicating & resolving management issues,Technical issues & project risks.
  • Derived directly from on-going activities & evolving product configuration.
  • A mechanism for disseminating process, progress,quality,trends,practices & experiences information to & from all stakeholders in an open forum
periodic status assessment 3 of 5
Periodic Status Assessment ( 3 of 5 )

Recurring themes from unsuccessful projects include status assessments that are

  • High-overhead activitiesbecause the work associated with generating the status is separate from the everyday work.
  • Frequently canceled because of higher priority issues that require resolution.

Recurring themes from successful projects include status assessments that are

  • Low-overhead activitiesbecause the material already exists as everyday management data.
  • Rarely canceled because they are considered too important.
periodic status assessment 4 of 5
Periodic Status Assessment( 4 of 5 )

Default content of status assessment reviews




Staffing Vs actuals,Attritions,Additions

Financial Trends

Expenditure plan Vs Actuals for the previous,current & next major milestone

Revenue forecasts

Top 10 Risks

Issues & criticality, resolution Plan

Quantification of exposure

Technical progress

Configuration baseline schedule for major milestone

Software management metrics & indicators

Current change trends

Test & quality assessment


periodic status assessment 5 of 5
Periodic Status Assessment( 5 of 5 )

Default content of status assessment reviews



Major milestone plans & results

Plan,Schedule & risks for the next major milestone

Pass/fail results for all acceptance criteria

Total size,growth & acceptance criteria


Total product scope