Guideline: Defining Practice Configurations
This guideline provides recommendations on identifying and briefly describing practice configurations.
Main Description

Practice Configurations are an important artifact in a Practice Framework as they assemble a specific set of Practices into something a practitioner can use. When defining the practice configuration, you must adhere to the architecture of the framework in which the configuration is to exist.

Thus, when trying to decide what practice configurations to produce, it is important to take the time to understand the nature of the business problem the practice configuration is intended to solve (the configuration's purpose) and who will be the primary consumers of the configuration (the configuration's intended audience). Understand what the scope of the problem is and the approach to solving it. This understanding forms the basic information that will guide many decisions that will affect the ultimate usefulness of the process configuration. It will also guide you in choosing an applicable name for the practice configuration. 

At this point, its even a good idea to identify practices that will be included in the practice configuration, as well as any cross-practice processes that may be included and what practices they will be assembled from. These are not defined in detail at this stage, but identifying them can help clarify the scope of the practice configuration.

In summary, the following are some key pieces of information that you should capture for a practice configuration and some examples for that information:

  • Name: MAM for Organization X
  • Purpose: Describe the best practices for authoring practice frameworks at Organization X.
  • Scope: All MAM practice framework practices plus Organization X customizations.
  • Intended Audience: Process Engineers at Organization X

Practice configurations are physically represented by publishable configurations. Thus, defining a practice configuration involves identifying, naming and briefly describing that publishable configuration, and including the above information in the definition of the publishable configuration. For more information on publishable configurations, see Concept: Practice Library Configuration Types. For more information on defining configurations, see Guideline: Defining Method Configurations.

Note: A practice configuration can be defined by mimicking an existing practice configuration. In that case, you can define the new practice configuration by copying components of the original practice configuration, including the existing practice configuration's method configuration and practice configuration-specific Publish plug-in.


Special instructions when authoring in the UMF: When defining Practice Configurations that are to existing within the Unified Method Framework (UMF), you must take into consider the UMF practice configuration conventions. For more information, see Guideline: Practice Configurations in the UMF.

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