Tuesday May 01, 2012

OUM and PMI's Pulse of the Profession: The Fourth In a Series

Welcome to the fourth blog entry of the series on PMI’s 2012 Pulse of the Profession .  The previous blog entry focused on Key Finding #3: As organizations continue to strive for agility, change management and project risk management will become even more important.   That entry discussed how change management and risk management s are documented in the OUM Manage Focus Area, as well as woven into the fabric of the Envision and Implement Focus Areas.

In this blog entry we will look at PMI’s Key Finding #4: Organizations will renew their focus on talent development as they look to grow and gain competitive advantage in new markets.  This finding shows a continued awareness that as we look at improving the project management maturity and capabilities of an organization, we must take a three pronged approach of people, processes, and tools.  We know that even with the best tools in place to support our projects, it is still just as important to have proven processes, and a well-trained and informed project team. 

Previous blog entries focused on how OUM supports organizational development by providing processes and tools in the form of content, guidance, templates, and samples.  Since we are focusing on the people part of the equation in the form of talent development, I thought this would be a good opportunity to talk about the OUM Training Program.

OUM Training Program

The OUM Training Program helps to ensure that individuals in various roles have the level of delivery knowledge required for them to competently perform their job.  The OUM training program takes an incremental approach in which the courses are arranged in a series of levels.  This approach allows students to build on their knowledge of OUM in manageable increments by progressing from the foundation level courses to those that cover more in-depth material.  You are probably not surprised that we take an iterative and incremental approach to OUM training!

Where to Find OUM Training

Each level of OUM training is available as a self-service, self-paced training course online, except for the Level 3 course which is delivered in the classroom for a fee.  The OUM training can be accessed as follows:

Oracle OPN Partners at the level of Diamond, Platinum or Gold can access the online training through the secure OUM Training Page on Oracle University.

Oracle Customers enrolled in the OUM Customer Program may obtain access to the OUM online training by sending an email to oum-training_us@oracle.com.

Oracle Employees can find the links to the training through the Global Methods internal MyOracle site on the ‘Training’ tab.

Partners and Customers are able to take the Level 3 – Gathering Requirements with OUM course from our partner DevelopMentor.  DevelopMentor has broad training experience and extensive knowledge of the Unified Process, use case practices, and agile development techniques.  For more information and class schedule, please visit their website.

OUM Specialization

We recently launched an OUM Specialization through the Oracle Partner Network.  The OUM Specialization recognizes partner organizations that have proven their extensive understanding of OUM.  Partners who are interested in finding out more about the OUM Specialization can go to the OUM Knowledge Zone on the Oracle Partner Network and click on the ‘Specialize’ tab.

If you have not had an opportunity to take the OUM training, I encourage you to take a look at the various courses and begin your learning with the Level 1 – Overview and Awareness course.  If you have any questions about the OUM Training Program, feel free to email us at oum-training_us@oracle.com.

Stay tuned for the next entry in the series which will address Key Finding #5: Despite tight economic conditions, organizations have been and will continue to increase their focus on benefits realization success metrics.

Tuesday Nov 08, 2011

OUM is Business Process and Use Case-Driven

Business Process and Use Case-Driven

Business processes and use cases are used as the primary artifacts for establishing the desired behavior of the system and for communicating this behavior among the stakeholders.

OUM projects are able to document requirements through business process models, through use cases, and through written supplemental and quality of service requirements. OUM guidance helps implementers to understand where each technique is appropriate and how they fit togehter

Business processes modeling helps stakeholders and implementers to understand the business processes of an organization, and look at the business requirements that are satisfied by a particular business process. To complement business process models, use cases models and use cases may be used to:

  • Provide a consistent mechanism to link system requirements to design and test tasks
  • Bridge the gap between business modeling, business processes, and software system functionality
  • Provide a consistent thread through OUM – use cases help amplify and consolidate the many other benefits of the method
  • Identify implicit or unstated requirements
  • Manage traceability of requirements through testing

Often business process models for predefined solutions exist and contain some form or description of how the user interacts with the system or how a system interacts with another system. Where these business process models already exist, they should be reviewed as a means of gathering business requirements. The need for additional use case modeling would depend on how well the business process models have captured the requirements of the business. Use cases become particularly important where there is a significant gap between the functionality required by the business and the functionality provided by the predefined solution or software product that is being employed. OUM proposes that implementers develop only the set of models and artifacts required to understand and document requirements and trace those requirements through the implementation lifecycle.

As the project progresses and where the need to develop use cases arises, the use cases are analyzed and the system is designed and implemented to meet the requirements captured in the use cases. The implemented components are tested to verify that they provide the business benefit described by the use cases. All of the models (Use Case Model, Analysis Model, Design Model, Architectural Implementation, and Performance Test Transaction Models) are related to each other through trace dependencies. Use cases are prioritized to:

  • Define the architecture before committing too much resource
  • First deliver the components with the highest value to the customer

Monday Oct 31, 2011

Tell us your best tip for writing a use case?

Do you have a favorite tip for writing a use case that you would like to share with us?  Here are some of our tips:

 

  • Use a two-column format.
  • Use structured sentences.
  • Use active verb phrases.
  • Write in the present tense.
  • Avoid compound sentences.
  • Describe the steps by starting every action with "The actor..." or "The system..."
  • Number the steps…but not until you’re done.
  • Each step should contain one testable, traceable requirement.
Please feel free to write your best tip in the discussion area below

 

Friday Sep 02, 2011

It's all down in Black and White.

 

In the BI/EPM View of Oracle Unified Method we introduced the idea of Black and White box Use Cases.

Black-Box Use Case Black-box use cases capture requirements at the level of observable behavior, but do not reveal the internal workings of the business or system. Most use cases are written at the black-box level to maintain the separation between requirements and design. Within this view, black-box use cases are most applicable to development of a custom BI system, but would also apply to the implementation of BI and EPM product-based systems that require custom extensions that support new data entry or reporting requirements.

White-Box Use Case White-box use cases capture requirements that reveal the internal workings of a business or system. White-box use cases detail how the system will satisfy the requirements. White-box use cases are applicable on projects that will implement BI and EPM product-based systems to document requirements regarding changes in the way the product needs to work.

Black-Box versus White-Box

It is important to understand how black-box and white-box use cases are applied to support BI and EPM projects.

Black-box use cases are typically used to capture requirements related to the development of new data entry, display, and reporting mechanisms. This includes new custom data entry and report components or data entry and reporting extensions being made to a BI or EPM product.

White box use cases are used to capture requirements related to the development or customization of internal data extraction, transformation, and loading components. These requirements typically result in the configuration or customization of existing EPM or BI Apps products. When using white-box use cases, remember to keep the use cases at the level of requirements and not to delve into system design.

All clear now?

 

Tony Carpenter

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