The Basic Elements
The basic elements of a process website are:
Work product: what is produced
Task: how to perform the work
Role: who performs the work
Process: used to define work breakdown and workflow
Guidance: templates, checklists, examples, guidelines, concepts, and so on.
These "basic elements" are the building blocks from which processes are composed.
The basic elements are organized using the following elements.
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 elements described
From the end-user perspective, a configuration is a selection of method content to be published. Most
configurations consist of a selection of practices plus some content to tie the practices together. The published
configuration is often loosely referred to as a process website.
Details and Examples
The following provides more detail about the basic elements and provides some examples.
Work products may take various shapes or forms, such as:
Documents, such as a Vision, or a Project Plan.
A model, such as a Use-Case Model or a Design Model. These can contain model elements (sub-artifacts) such as
Design Classes, Use Cases, and Design Subsystems.
Databases, spreadsheets, and other information repositories.
Source code and executables.
Work products can be classified as "artifacts" if they are concrete things, "outcomes" if they are not concrete, and
"deliverables" if they are a packaging of artifacts.
A role defines the behavior and responsibilities of an individual, or a set of individuals working together as a team,
within the context of a software engineering organization.
Note that roles are not individuals; instead, roles describe responsibilities. An individual will typically take on
several roles at one time, and frequently will change roles over the duration of the project.
Analyst - Represents customers and end users, gathers input from stakeholders and
Developer - Develops a part of the system, including designing, implementing, unit testing, and
A task is work performed by a role. It is usually defined as a series of steps that involve creating or updating one or
more work products.
Develop a vision - Develop an overall vision for the system, including capturing the problem to be
solved, the key stakeholders, the scope and boundary of the system, the system's key features, and any constraints.
Plan Iteration - Define the scope and responsibilities of a single iteration.
Processes pull together tasks, work products, and roles, and add structure and sequencing information. Tasks or
work products can be grouped into higher level activities, called a work breakdown structure
(WBS). Activities or tasks can be marked as "planned" to identify work that you expect to assign and track.
Figure 1: Example Work Breakdown
Diagrams can be added to providing sequencing information. The following example shows an initial activity, "Plan
Test Cycle", followed by two activities that go in parallel, "Monitor and Control Test" and "Test".
Figure 2: Example Activity Diagram
Note that a reusable partial process is sometimes referred to as a capability pattern.
For More Information
More in-depth material on these concepts is generally found in articles on EPF Composer and Rational(R) Method
Composer, which use these concepts as building blocks.