What is a Phase?
While the entire purpose of a project is to produce a product, the specific goals of the team will vary substantially
throughout the project. In the beginning, there usually is considerable latitude in the requirements for the product.
It may not be clear whether the project is feasible or even if it is likely to be profitable. At that time, it is
critical to bring an answer to these questions, and of little to no value to start developing the product in
earnest. Towards the end of the project, the product itself is usually complete, and issues of quality, delivery,
and completeness then take center stage. At different points in time, tasks are undertaken in new ways and work
products will have new content.
To coordinate the team’s efforts in a manner that takes these fundamental observations into account, the project
lifecycle should be divided into a sequence of phases. Each phase has a defined set of goals, its own iteration style
and customized tasks and work products to address the unique needs of the project at that point in time.
We recommend dividing the project lifecycle into four phases: Inception, Elaboration, Construction and
Iteration and Phases
Each phase is divided into iterations. An iteration is a complete development loop resulting in a build (internal or
external) of an executable system, usually a subset of the final product under development, which grows incrementally
from iteration to iteration to become the final product.