A practice is a documented approach to solving one or several commonly occurring
problems. Practices are intended as "chunks" of process for adoption, enablement, and configuration. Practices are
built from the basic method elements. For more information on these elements, see Concept: Basic Process Concepts. Practices can be informally document through
one white paper, or formally documented through a combination of training courses, tutorials, process content,
redbooks, etc. Practices provide one-stop-shopping for relevant content
Practices enable a new approach to building methods - practice composition.
This approach offers the following benefits:
Focused on business results
Reusability, adaptability and scalability
Easy to configure and use
Focused on Business Results
Practices focus on results (provided capabilities and resulting work products). They
translate ideas into action and deliver high value. Practices are refined based on experiences and lessons learned
(“practice makes perfect!”). Practices focus on what matters (e.g., what practices should we use to meet our
business objectives vs what process is "best").
A practice has a positive impact on one or several business objectives (e.g., Time-to-Market,
Improve Quality, Increase Innovation, etc.). The adoption of a practice, and it’s impact on business objectives,
can be effectively measured.
Reusability, Adaptability and Scalability
A practice is a reusable and scalable process package that may
be general, domain-specific, technique-specific, organization-specific, etc. Practices can be extended/enhanced by
other practices and/or techniques. Practices can be adapted to support a range of solutions. In
particular, practices can be adapted to suit your organization and supplemented by your own practices.
The core practices are the open source EPF Practices. These practices are based on a common framework that allows
them to be composed. The core practices are tool-agnostic, low-ceremony practices that can be extended to
address a broad variety of development concerns, such as SOA, geographical distribution, model-driven architecture and
embedded systems. Tool and technology specific guidance can be added, such as guidance on J2EE, and a variety of
development tools. Some of these extensions can be quite modest, adding for example just tool specific
guidance to existing tasks, while others can be comprehensive, defining processes that provide a radically expanded
scope with new or altered artifacts, new or altered tasks, and new or altered roles.
Extensions and additions to the practices can be:
used internally by an organization
open sourced as a part of the EPF project
sold commercially as an extension to the basic framework, such as the IBM(R) Practices.
A practice is a component or aspect of a process that can be adopted independently
and incrementally by an organization to build an organizational capability. Practices support
easier adoption of lighter processes. Organizations only use what they really need. They can adopt one or a few
practice at a time and/or adopt a practice at higher levels over time (evolutionary and incremental
Incremental adoption is supported by the fact that each practice is described as a standalone
capability and provides one-stop-shopping for all collateral related to the practice -- e.g., courses,
tool features, services, articles, process content, enactment, etc.
Easy to Configure and Use
Practices are designed to be interchangeable, they may be mixed and matched or swapped out
for alternative practices. Practice-based techniques recognize that "one-size fits all" is too limiting for
processes. Practices allow alternatives. Creating a method is as simple as selecting the practices that you
wish to adopt, and then publishing the results. Each practice adds itself into the framework so that content can
be viewed by practice, or across practices by work product, role, task and so on.
Since a practice can be easily authored on its own, practices are ideal for community development. The basic agile
practices for the EPF Practices are, in fact, developed by the Eclipse Process Framework community.
Practices enable a richer eco-system as it is easier to develop an individual practice than to author an