Characteristics, Risk, and Project Phases

This section outlines the advantages of iterative development processes. See the sections on UML and the Rational Unified Process or extreme programming for more about iterative development.

Project Characteristics

Characteristics of projects:

  • Unhealthy projects lack rhythm which is provided by the iterative process.
  • The iterative process is directed considering risks.
  • Need skillful planning and solid requirements definition to build a good system.
  • The iterative process establishes the basic and main functional requirements and works its way out to additional requirements.


Risk is critical when two or more of the following are changed:

  • The system requirements
  • The technology used
  • The team
  • The program design methods or management methods.
  • The development language
  • The operating system and hardware platform
  • The tools

Risk management must be done repetitively during the project lifecycle. Four phases of risk management:

  1. Identification - Identify all project risks
  2. Analysis - Reduce the risk identification to the most probable ten that will affect the project based on:
    • Chance of occurance.
    • Impact on the project
    • During the project lifecycle, when it will occur.
  3. Planning - Plan the response to be used in the event of risk materialization.
  4. Control - Implement the risk response.

The Overall Process

The overall project process when dealing with iterative design processes includes the below phases. Iterative design assumes that complete project requirements are not available at the start of the project or the requirements will change.


Can have secondary small teams (20% of team) or individuals examine technologies and build test prototypes to see if technologies can be used in the main design.

Throw away 10% to 20% of code for each iteration. If more than 30% of the work is trashed at the end of the first iteration, the system architecture is not stable. Sizes of changes:

Quality Assurance

Normally 80% of the program errors are in 20% of the classes in the project.

More Information

For more information about iterative processes please read the section about UML and associated recommended reading in that section.

Management Guide Contents Page