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[Text Version] 03.html Tue Jan 15 15:29:28 PST 2013


    CSci 375/03 Inception

    Date#Topic (Participation 2pt)Study pages (2 pts)Quiz(15 pts)Project Work(10 pts)
    Today3Inception41-59Q1(1-59)W0 due
    Next4Use Cases61-89-W1 (section 4.3)

    (Close Table)

    Project Kickoff

    Hand in a brief description of your project: what, who, what,.... and be ready to tell the class about who the team is.

    Input: The Inception Phase

    1. Case Studies:
      1. General
      2. NextGen Point Of Sale -- in many chapters.
      3. The Monopoly Game System -- in many chapters.

    2. Inception is Not Requirements
      1. ++ The jungle mission analogy
      2. ** Key questions for inception:
        • WHY are we doing this project?
        • WHAT might it involve?
        • Can we make it work and how much effort will it take?
        • Should we proceed or stop?
        • ++ FEASIBILITY!
        • WHAT should we do first?
      3. Length of inception
      4. ** Artifacts that might be required(used in W1)
      5. Misapredelusions
      6. * UML?

    3. ** Requirements Evolve
      1. Definition
      2. Evolution vs "waterfall"
      3. BDUF::="Big Design Up Front".
      4. Skill
      5. Types of Requirements: FURPS+
      6. ++ My acronym: PQRST: Purposes, Qualities, Realities, Systems, Technologies.
      7. ++ Or: Why? How? What? Where? Using?
      8. ++ Key point: not just use cases.
      9. Organization
      10. Examples
      11. Resources

    Example of a Simple system

      Name -- Shopping Aid

      Team -- Me


      A handheld, wireless device that helps shoppers buy the items that they want. A shopper has a list of items that they want. They are sold at different stores. The device keeps an up-to-date list of wanted items as the user shops.

      More TBA.

    . . . . . . . . . ( end of section Example of a Simple system) <<Contents | End>>

    Questions and Answers

      Chapter 2 Page 27 -- what is risk -- how to identify risks

      The author repeatedly refers to "risk." Exactly what is meant by risk in the software development process? Does this mean high cost? Difficult projects?

      Each project has its own risks. It may be the cost being arger than the budget. It may be some technical that we don't know. It could be an area of doubt about a particular requirement. It could be the team itself.

      Anything novel is automatically risky and needs special attention.

      analysis of 10% of Use Cases

      what is the best way to discover the most important of use cases without go into depth(within 10%)? Are these cases obviously to find out?

      You need to pick use cases that will tackle risks. They must be interesting. Something that has a real critical problem (or two) to solve. It takes a little experience to spot them. Just follow your fear. And look for novelty.

      And if is all old stuff with little risk, pick something that returns value to the clients and exercises a major part of the logic (as far as you can see).

      Chapter 2 pp 41-59 -- SEI Quality Standards

      Of the mentioned quality standards in the reading(ISO 9126, IEEE Std 830, and IEEE Std 1061, and CMM/CMMI), which one is more popular and which is more accepted?

      I don't know. The most popular standard is probably -- none. In our department we stick with the IEEE standards and cover CMM/CMMI style quality improvement models in the graduate software engineering class. ISO is most popular in Europe.

      Business Cases

      What difference between Use Cases and Business Cases? Do we have to distinguish use case and business case? Is business case also have to analysis within 10%?

      The Business case is why the enterprise should spend time and money to develop the software. It answers the question "Why" for the organization. Use cases are about "Why" for particular people in the organization.

      A business case explains, in business terms, why this project is worth doing. It is about the whole project. It should give reasons like "save money", "increase profits", etc.. A business case is about many use cases -- and probably doesn;t name any of them.

      A use case describes how one user gets something tangible out of the system. Many use cases are needed in a system....

      Chapter 3 pp 048-051 -- Inception

      After inception, would requirement analysis follow this step, or is there any other process that can take place in between?

      Requirements analysis is not a step or phase in UP, it is a discipline. Requirements analysis starts in inception. It continues throughout the project.... The ratio of requirements work to designing or coding etc. changes as you change phases.

      At anytime you may discover a new requirement:

      • A new law is passed by congress.
      • A new boss.
      • A stakeholder notices something obvious that you have not heard of before.
      • A prototype makes the user think again.
      • Etc.

      As the project proceeds you expect to do less requirements analysis and more design. Ultimately it is all about coding with very little design and analysis.

      Chapter 3 pp 42-42 -- core application logic layer

      Can you please explain the difference between the application logic layer and the other layers?

      Consider web registration at CSUSB. HTML is presentation or Human-Computer-Interface code. The color of the user's screen is not part of the application logic area, but the process for registering is. The rosters for the classes are part of the persistence layer but inserting a student in a roster is part of the application layer.

      There will be more on this later.

      Chapter 4 Page 48 -- range of cost estimation in inception

      How close to a reliable range of cost for a project should you aim for during inception?

      You are limited by the time and information available to make good estimate. You need what physicists call an "Order of Magnitude" estimate of the costs -- is it 10s,100s,1000s, ... of dollars. So rather than saying "plus or minus 10%" or some such figure, it is more like doing your best to check that the enterprise can afford to develop the software. Indeed the number is less important than thinking of a way to develop the software that fits the budget. For example by delaying an expensive but low value feature can reduce the initial cost and move the cost to later and perhaps you may even wait for when people really want the feature.

      Chapter 4 page 48 -- When to stop a project

      Projects that don't fit the enterprises needs and constraints should be stopped. Check out the term "feasibility" in cs372.

      What stops a project most

      I don't have any data but, I expect (1) time, (2) politics, and (3) costs are the commonest project killers.

      In any case --- it is more important to look at each project and detect where it is weakest rather than having a prejudged rule.

      Chapter 4 Page 50 -- Glossary

      What is an example of the type of thing you might find in the glossary artifact?

      A glossary is a set of definitions for terms, words, symbols. A place to turn when people ask "What do you mean by ______".

      In my glossaries you find a lot of XBNF definitions:

    1. definition::= term ":" ":" "=" description.
    2. SSN::=digit^10.

      Chapter 4 Page 50 -- when to stop inception

      At what point do you say this is good enough and begin to document that iteration before moving on?

      In practice you set up a time frame for inception and stop when it runs out.

      You document as you go.... use documents to generate ideas and aim to get something that runs before inception is done.

      The moment you know that the project is worthwhile, and you know where to start. Notice you may have already written and tested some software to prove the concept.

      But -- you may have to draw a line and say "Enough preparation -- lets start".

      Chapter 4 - Pages 58 - Topic: Inception

      It is understood that the Inception Phase is a collective gathering of enough information to establish a common vision on the seriousness and feasibility to move forward on a project. How big role should the financial aspect [funding, expenses, capital, etc] play while conducting the Inception Phase?

      Money acts as a constraint on what you can achieve. You have to figure what you can achieve, given the money available. Check out some of the ideas and techniques in [ cs372 ] "Computers in Organizations".

      Should money be considered an artifact?

      That is called forgery! Artifacts are things you make. Money is a constraint on quality.

      Quality attributes and architecture

      What is the role of quality attributes when exploring architectural analysis?

      Quality attributes tell how good an architecture is. They can also guide the design process. Just spotting the most critical quality attribute can focus you on the right way to tackle a complex piece of software, in my experience.

      Chapter 4 pp 47 -- Analysis of 10% of Use Cases

      In the inception phase, you are supposed to come up with an in-depth analysis of the most important 10% of your use cases. Without going into depth on all of the use cases, what is the best way to discover the most important use cases? Are they usually fairly obvious? Is there a modeling tool to help you discover them?

      I don't think tools help, but experience does. The tools help you analyze the uses cases you choose as most important.

      Chapter 4 pp * : Length of Inception Phase

      According to the book it is stated that inception should not be more than a week for most projects. Isn't there a danger of underestimating the feasibility of a project?

      The feasibility of the whole project (including the hardware and people) should have been examined before you start developing software. So inception just focuses on the cost and problems in developing the software.

      Even so there is a risk of starting a project that will later fail. But this is true of all software development. We minimize this risk in the UP by focusing on the riskiest parts first. In inception you pay attention to show stopper requirements: use cases that are critical to the whole project and are likely to expose the difficulties. We also look at quality requirements (security? reliability? ...) that will need special work. We attempt to develop a proof of concept architecture that supports these critical requirements.

      A key output of the inception phase is a plan for the next iteration. In later phases we also attack the problems before the sneak up on us.

      Chapter 4 How do you spot the critical requirements

      Experience, examples, and practice. This class will give you an opportunity to gain some experience and practice. A symptom of a critical requirement is that it is valuable but has a number of unknowns that will effect design choices.

      Chapter 4 pp 50 : inception artifacts

      Besides those listed in table 4.1, are there other artifacts that can be used in the inception phase?

      Yes! You can include any artifact (something the team constructs, gathers,...) that helps you understand the problems and opportunities better.

      Chapter 4 What are the most important artifacts on pages 50 and 58

      The most important depends on the project: what shines the most light on the dark areas of the project.

      Chapter 4 pp 48 -- Inception -- Which requirements first

      We do not need to define all the requirements in the inception phase, but which one should I choose as the first and how to choose?

      The book goes into more detail later. But here are some simple thoughts:

      1. The least useful use case is the one that is easy and straightforward to do and doesn't teach you anything as a result. Example: user logs in.
      2. It must be interesting. Example: User uses a credit card from a remote ATM that needs access to another banks records.
      3. Attack risks before the attack you. So -- go for the scary requirements first. Example: We need to use a completely new point of sale terminal and it hasn't even been built yet... we need to test the prototype.
      4. Look for "show stopper requirements" that just have to be met or else the project is dead. Example: we have to show the user that we can get money out of the user!
      5. Look for things you don't know or understand. Example -- new technology. Examples: how do web services work? What is Struts? We are going to be using Ruby!
      6. Look for a use case that will involve many parts of the software.
      7. What is the most problematic requirement?

      Chapter number pp 41-59 -- Inception

      The book makes passing mention that you can use UML during Inception. But isn't this just elaboration? How can UML be used in the inception with out being an elaboration?

      The tools do not determine the phase. Inception differs from Elaboration in terms of attitude. In inception you know that you may kill the project and are trying to prove that it is worth doing. In elaboration -- you expect for the project to run to completion and have cracked the most difficult problems.

      After inception you should have a better idea of how much work is going to be needed -- in the next phase. During the remaining phases you plan one iteration ahead and refine the overall plan.

      Chapter 4.1 pp 48 -- Inception

      So inception is the key to determining if a project should be started or not, if no one is sure if they should start it or not?

      Even if you know that project has to be done -- inception is about validating that it is worth doing. A kind of cynical review of the previous systems analysis.

      Chapter 2/4 pp 49 -- Inception

      Can you please provide some more analogy example like the one on section 4.1 about the oil business?

      I usually use the Jungle Mission analogy -- you and your team have been parachuted into jungle -- half the team is lost, the objective is on your map, but you don't know where you are. What do you do first?

      In fact this is not quite right: Inception should start before the team gets dropped in the jungle.... it is about making sure that the mission is worth doing.

      Chapter 4 pp 49 -- How long is inception

      In the book it states what should be completed during inception but it doesn't state how much time should actually be spent or what a reasonable amount of time is. How long should be spent during inception?

      There is no general rule. It depends on the unknowns in the particular project. But you should time box it -- ideally the team should discuss how long it will take to kick off the project and verify the feasibility and cost of 10% riskiest requirements.

      Chapter 4 pp 49 -- Inception

      What is the longest amount of time a it takes for inception?

      I would get very worried if it took longer than a month.

      Chapter 4 pp 47-51 -- inception

      Is there anytime we should not use inception?

      If you have a working development environment, knowledge of where you are, where you are going, you know what tools you will be using, etc. then inception boils down to having a meeting to kickoff the process. All it has to do is pick a few use cases to analyse in detail.

      I would say that it may be a very short "inception" phase -- 60 minutes -- but it still exists.

      Chapter 4 pp 48-49 -- Feasibility

      Is there an easy way to calculate feasibility during the inception phase of a rather large project of which no one has any prior experience doing? I've ran into numerous problems where a group thinks they can tackle a project only to find out halfway through that it's just not possible :(

      No. Instead each novel part of the project should be entered into the Risk List for the project.... and tackled early in the elaboration phase. This means you have time to adjust your plans rather than hitting the problems "halfway through".

      Chapter 4 pp 50 -- artifacts

      The list of artifacts to be started in the inception phase shows 9 different documents. This is more than what we are submitting. Why? Is there a time when you wont have some of these documents? How will you know?

      In a real project -- As a rule you should only prepare an artifact if it teaches you something.

      I don't want to kill you in the first iteration. In previous classes I asked people to choose what artifacts they would do in the inception phase... but they all had CS372 projects to start from. Now I've reduced the number.

      However I will demand certain artifacts throughout the course so that you are forced to practice the particular skills involved.

      Chapter 4 pp 047-051 -- CS320

      Is it a good idea to include group creativity activities in the inception stage? (Take this wrench and use it to make that ball roll over this object...)

      Use creativity exercises when stuck. This can happen in inception but more typically (I guess) in later stages.

      I would suggest that team building exercises -- like sharing pizza -- would very helpful in the inception phase. Indeed, if the team is distance challenged then the first risk that must be attacked is trust and communication and it pays to start by doing something (as a distributed team) that produces some tangible result -- like a really dumb prototype. This can also exercise the infrastructure....

      Chapter 4 pp 48 -- inception

      What is the best method used to estimate the range of cost during inception?

      Notice that in some situations you are more interested in the effort (people><time) than with money.

      (1) You can often get a "ball park" minimum and maximum figures for a small project by talking about it with your team.

      (2) You may already have a cost-benefit analysis [ ../cs372/09.html#Financial%20and%20Cost-Benefit%20Analysis ] with some figures you can use.

      (3) Here is an algorithm for a more defensible figure.

      1. Break down into tasks, tools, equipment...
      2. Cost each as a range.
        1. People -> wages * time with min...max.

        (End of Case)
        1. Buy & maintain as min..max

        (End of Case)
        1. Rent/lease -> monthly min..max

        (Close Case )
      3. Add up the mins and maxes to give total min..max

      You can include the expected and most likely values and use the PERT formula

    3. expected = (min +4*likely+max)/6.

      There exist programs that can draw you a nice picture of the chances of getting different times...

      You could (only to impress a naive stakeholder) run a few simulations picking random numbers in the individual pieces min-max range...

      4 pp 48, 51 -- Length of Inception

      This book says that inception should be only one or a few weeks long, in what case might inception be longer, what types or sizes of projects might increase the length of the inception phase? If the inception takes too long does that mean the project is not possible? and how would you solve this...

      If it takes more than "a few" weeks to decide whether the project is worth doing and what (in outline) what is required.... the project is not ready to start the UP development process. It needs more analysis. There are probably some political and resource problems to resolve. To continue is very risky. See CSCI372!

      It is best to have a fixed deadline and fill the time with as much analysis and design than to have specified a set of requirements to be achieved and have these take up a lot of time.

      Chapter 2/4 pp 54 -- Evolutionary vs Waterfall

      What are some of the Evolutionary requirements and some of the waterfalls and what are key differences between them?

      Evolution vs Waterfall is not a quality of a particular requirement.

      It is a property of how you plan to do the work.

      Chapter 5 pp 54-55 -- Waterfall

      How do you decide if your project is starting the waterfall process? The way it is described in the book seems too vague for me. Some people could think that there are too many requirements at first while other people think that the requirements are in a healthy range.

      You know it is waterfall when people think they have (or will have) a complete unchanging software requirements specification before they start designing the software.

      OK there is a slippery slope.... and this book suggests that you shouldn't expect more than 10% of the requirements to be fixed before you start designing, coding, testing, and elaborating the software.

      Chapter 5 pp 54 -- Waterfall Requirements

      The author obviously likes the evolutionary method, but is there ever a time that the Waterfall method would be useful?

      Waterfall is excellent in classrooms:-)

      See next question.

      Chapter 5 pp 56 -- Evolutionary requirements

      Throughout the earlier chapter and including this chapter (ch.5) there is mention of waterfall approach and a constant reminder not to superimpose the waterfall approach to UP. when is waterfall approach useful ? and if 45% of waterfall specified features are never used,(figure 5.1) is it a useful and successful approach?

      You need to be absolutely certain of the situation and requirements, and be sure that they will not change until after when you complete the project. These tend to be small, closed problems like calculate the square root of a number.

      Chapter 5 pp 57 -- Categories of requirements

      The book mentions that some feel that the requirement categories functional and non-functional are too broad. What do they mean? How can they be broken down further?

      The book uses the FURPS+ [ patterns.html#FURPS+ ] and I've used [ patterns.html#PQRST ] in my projects. Also [ Chapter 5.4 pp 56-57 -- FURPS+ ] below

      Chapter 5.4 pp 56-57 -- FURPS+

      When should the F.U.R.P.S model be applied to a project?

      From the beginning until transition (at least) you need some kind of framework or checklist to make sure you have covered all the requirements. This is something that the whole team knows. It has to be a short mnemonic. Larman uses FURPS+. I use PQRST.

      You use it initially to ask questions: How fast? How frequently? How friendly? How secure? What does it do? How much disk space? Which platform? ...

      In your project I don't require you to use FURPS+. BUT you must not miss any requirements.

      Chapter 6 Page 45 -- Alternatives to use cases

      Are there alternatives to the Use-Case Model?

      Yes -- but they are out of favor.

      Note: you should add business/domain models and a glossary to your use cases.

      Other FAQs

      [ 03q.html ]

      Review Questions

      [ 03r.html ]

    Exercises While we have time

    The Unified Process. List the 4 phases, list 3 disciplines, and draw a diagram showing how they are related.

    Object-Oriented Analysis and Design. List the four steps described in the previous chapter leading from what the user wants to a design for the software.

    (Class exercises): [ 03x.html ]

    Assigned Work for next time -- use cases I

    (Preparation): Use Cases. Start with [ 04.html ] and take it from there. Submit one review question+answer before the deadline.

    Quiz 1 The Unified Process

    (Q1): Fill in blanks in a diagram that I handed out....

    Standard Definitions

  1. Artifact::="Anything that is created in the course of a project".
  2. artifact::=see above.

  3. DCD::diagram="Design Class Diagram", shows the classes that will be implemented in code. [ 02DiceGameClasses.gif ] (example).
  4. Deliverables::="A packet of artifacts that must be prepared by a deadline for review or distribution".

  5. Glossary::= See http://cse.csusb.edu/dick/cs375/uml.glossary.html.
  6. GoF::="Gang of Four", [ patterns.html#GoF ]
  7. GRASP::patterns="General Responsibility Assignment Software Patterns", a set of guidelines for designing objects and classes. They take a single event that the system must handle and determine a good set of objects and/or classes to carry it out. See [ patterns.html#GRASP -- General Responsibility Assignment Software Patterns ]
  8. Grades::= See http://cse.csusb.edu/dick/cs375/grading/.

  9. KISS::Folk_law="Keep It Simple, Stupid", in agile processes this means never drawing a diagram or preparing a document that doesn't provide value to the clients and stakeholders. In all processes it means never designing or coding what has no value now, see YAGNI.

  10. OO::shorthand="Object-Oriented".
  11. OOAD::="Object-Oriented Analysis and Design", See chapter 1 in text.

  12. patterns::="Documented families of problems and matching solutions", see Patterns.
  13. Patterns::= See http://cse.csusb.edu/dick/cs375/patterns.html.

  14. Process::="How to develop software".

  15. RJB::=The author of this document, RJB="Richard J Botting, Comp Sci and Engineering School, CSUSB".
  16. RUP::Process="Rational UP", a proprietary version of UP.

  17. SSD::="System Sequence Diagrams", see chapter 10 and [ 02DiceGameSSD.gif ] (example).

  18. TBA::="To Be Announced".

  19. UML::="Unified Modeling Language". [ Unified_Modeling_Language ]

  20. UP::="Unified Process", an iterative, risk-driven, and evolutionary way to develop OO software.

  21. YAGNI::XP="You Ain't Gonna Need It", an XP slogan that stops you planning and coding for things that are not yet needed. As a rule the future is not predictable enough to program a feature until the stakeholders actually need it now. In this class it also means "It won't be on the final or in quizzes".

  22. XP::="Extreme Programming", the ultimate iterative, code-centric, user-involved process.

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