Software development process according to the Rational Unified Process is broken intro phases. Each phase has a cycles, each cycle working on a new generation of the product. The results in a cycle in general calls artifacts.

Summary description of the possible artifacts after each phase and evaluation criteria are represented.

Inception Phase

Typical artifacts that could be produced:

• A vision document: a general vision of the core project’s requirements, key features, and main constraints.

• A initial use-case model, 10% -20% complete.

• A business model, if necessary.

• An initial business case, which includes business context, success criteria (revenue projection, market recognition, and so on), and financial forecast.

• An initial project glossary (may optionally be partially expressed as a domain model).

• An initial risk assessment.

• A project plan, showing phases and iterations.

• One or several prototypes.

The evaluation criteria for the inception phase are:

• Stakeholder concurrence on scope definition and cost/schedule estimates.

• Requirements understanding as evidenced by the fidelity of the primary use cases.

• Credibility of the cost/schedule estimates, priorities, risks, and development process.

• Actual expenditures versus planned expenditures.

• Depth and breadth of any architectural prototype that was developed.

Elaboration Phase

Typical artifacts that could be produced:

• A use-case model (at least 80% complete) — all use cases and actors have been identified, and most usecase descriptions have been developed.

• Supplementary requirements capturing the non functional requirements and any requirements that are not associated with a specific use case.

• A revised risk list and a revised business case.

• A development plan for the overall project, including the coarse-grained project plan, showing iterations and evaluation criteria for each iteration.

• An updated development case specifying the process to be used.

• A Software Architecture Description.

• An executable architectural prototype.

• A preliminary user manual (optional).

The evaluation criteria for the inception phase are:

• Do all stakeholders agree that the current vision can be achieved if the current plan is executed to develop the complete system, in the context of the current architecture?

• Is the vision of the product stable?

• Is the architecture stable?

• Is the plan for the construction phase sufficiently detailed and accurate? Is it backed up with a credible basis of estimates?

• Does the executable demonstration show that the major risk elements have been addressed and credibly resolved?

• Is the actual resource expenditure versus planned expenditure acceptable?

Construction Phase

Typical artifacts that could be produced:

• A description of the current release.

• The software product integrated on the adequate platforms.

• The user manuals.

The evaluation criteria for the inception phase are:

• Are all stakeholders ready for the transition into the user community?

• Is this product release stable and mature enough to be deployed in the user community?

• Are the actual resource expenditures versus planned expenditures still acceptable?

Transition Phase

The primary objectives include:

• Achieving user self-supportability.

• Achieving stakeholder concurrence that deployment baselines are complete and consistent with the evaluation criteria of the vision.

• Achieving final product baseline as rapidly and cost effectively as practical.

The evaluation criteria for the inception phase are:

• Is the user satisfied?

• Are the actual resources expenditures versus planned expenditures still acceptable?

The Rational Unified Process is a software engineering process, delivered through a web-enabled, searchable knowledge base. The process enhances team productivity and delivers software best practices via guidelines, templates and tool mentors for all critical software lifecycle activities. The knowledge base allows development teams to gain the full benefits of the industry-standard reaching business goals.

Based on Rational Software White Paper “Best Practices for Software Development Teams“.