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Ivar Jacobson Reveals Essential Unified Process (Ess UP) Vision

by Scott Ambler on Jun 07, 2006 |

The Essential Unified Process (Ess UP) is a streamlined version of the UP which, as the name implies, captures the essential practices required to be successful on a UP project.  At the Rational Software Development Conference (RSDC) this week Jacobson overviewed the work being done within his company.  The Ess UP describes an agile approach to development following the UP.  As Jacobson succinctly put it: "These days, saying that you're not agile is like saying that you're not potent".

Seriously though, key points which Jacobson made about the Ess UP:

  • It takes the good ideas described in the UP, but has started from scratch in describing them.
  • People generally won't read the details, and because they're highly skilled in practice what they really need are reminders/brief descriptions to keep them on track.
  • A good way to communicate process material is on cards.  Motivated by the success of Class Responsibility Collaborator Cards (CRC), Jacobson and his team have captured the process via a collection of cards instead of the HTML pages approach common with other flavors of the UP such as the Rational Unified Process (RUP), Open UP, and the Agile Unified Process (AUP).  This enables you to easily tailor the process to meet your exact needs.
  • We also need intelligent agents, such as what we see with JacZone's Waypointer, to help guide and mentor IT professionals as they do their job.

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intelligent agents, or MS paperclip? by Floyd Marinescu

We also need intelligent agents, such as what we see with JacZone's Waypointer, to help guide and mentor IT professionals as they do their job.

I watched Ivar's presentation on Intelligent Agents at the excellent JAOO conference in Norway last year. The vision of having a little agent helper guy training you on your computer didn't seem like something people would want to do. Ivar claimed however that using an agent could allow for having a very huge process, because the agent would simply present parts of it when necessary only, making use of the process more consumable.

Re: intelligent agents, or MS paperclip? by Chris Rimmer

Hi Floyd, I was at JAOO too, although I was in Denmark, not sure about you ;-).

I agree with what you say. When Ivar mentioned these Intelligent Agents I wrote "Microsoft clippy?" in my notes. If I remember rightly, he didn't think that they would be just for coders, but for all parts of the project. I had visions of a little character popping up and saying "Hey, it looks like you're project managing a J2EE project, would you like help with that?".

Speaking with other delegates and speakers, I didn't find anyone who thought it sounded a good idea. So I don't think this idea will fly.

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