One- to two-page definitions of recommended deliverables for the scope definition phase of a Software Release Life Cycle.
What this is
This document covers Phase 2 of a Software Release Life Cycle. It includes a one-to-two page description of recommended deliverables for this phase.
The requirements for what to possibly include in a release were collected in the Preliminary Requirements Gathering phase major projects, minor projects, enhancements to previous products, bug fixes to existing software, integration of previous release patches, etc. The Scope Definition Phase is now focused on identifying an initial proposed scope for the release, by translating those requirements into an initial high-level plan. The management staff must create a picture of the desired upcoming release via a reasonably well-understood set of tasks, deliverables and resource needs. That plan will be used in Phase 3 to make trade-offs and compromises as necessary to allocate time, personnel, equipment, etc.
Why it's useful
The stakeholders for a software release can be extensive, ranging from the end-user of the software up to the executive staff, and down through many different cross-functional teams and departments. Many of these stakeholders will have a limited view of the total scope of a large software release and the business drivers behind different aspects that are competing for resources. They may have a vested interest in potentially a very small portion. Many stakeholders may be completely unaware of the predecessor requirements for their desired feature or function. Before a full release plan is committed to, tradeoff decisions will be necessary. Some projects may not stay in this release but rather be delayed to the next one due to resource issues. Some enhancements may be likewise left out.
The scope definition resulting from this phase will provide a concise description of all the requests, bug fixes, planned projects, requirements, etc. that are to be in the release, and show their time and resource usage in a high-level release plan. This will allow the various decision makers to make informed choices when deciding where to allocate resources and understand expected schedule for the release.
How to use it
Review the deliverables suggested in this document (See the included Checklist). Adjust for your particular organization, project type, or company.
Perform the activities described in those deliverables. See the Software Release Life Cycle Team Member Glossary if you have questions about the roles listed as Driver and Contributor for a deliverable.
At the end of this phase, you will be prepared for Phase 3, Negotiation and Planning, during which tradeoff decisions will be made as necessary to settle on a final release definition and detailed release plan.
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