FDD is an iterative methodology to deliver projects. Rather than delivering projects in one go manner we deliver the features with in time limits. So let’s understand how the FDD cycle moves. We will have two views one is the over all flow and one is the detail iteration flow.
Below figure ‘Structure of FDD project’ shows step by step approach for FDD project.
- Identify the features: - In this phase we identify the features in the project. Keep one thing in mind features are not simple user point of view requirements; we should be able to schedule a feature.
- Prioritize the features: - Big bang theory thinking is bad. Many project managers think deliver everything at the first step itself, but that’s practically difficult. Rather deliver first the most needed functionalities, then needed and then so called as over the top cream functionalities. To deliver in feature by feature manner we need to prioritize the feature list from the user’s angle.
- Define iterations and time boxes: - The first thing which must have clicked your mind is we should deliver in group of features, but that’s not the case in FDD. We deliver according to the size of iteration. Iteration is based on “timeboxes” so that we know how long iteration is. Depending on the timeboxes the features can be delivered or not is decided.
The below points are looped for every iteration (below sections are covered in more detail in the coming up section).
- Plan Iteration: - At the start of every iteration we need to plan it out, how we are going to execute the plan.
- Create release: - We code, test and deliver according to the plan chalked out in “Plan Iteration” phase.
If everything is ok we move ahead if not we take the next iteration
Figure: - Structure of a FDD project
The above defined FDD cycle is an overall view. Let’s go deep in to how every iteration will be executed. Below figure ‘Steps in Iteration’ shows how an iteration execution happens in a detailed manner.
- Iteration Kick Start: - The length of iteration is already defined but just in case you want to validate it, then this is the phase.
- Plan features for the iteration: - This is the phase where we prepare our WBS. We map the features to work packages in WBS. This plan has to be accepted by the end user.
- Study requirements: - In this section we write detailed requirement document / user story or use cases.
- Design Architecture: - This is the phase where we chalk out the overall architecture of the iteration and features.Once the design is done we review the architecture any issues we iterate to close the review.
- Write test plan: - Before we start coding we write test plans to validate the features of the iteration.
- Execution: - We do the coding according to the design decided in the design phase of the iteration.
- Testing: - Once the execution is done we run the test plans written in the ‘Write test plan’ phase. In case of any failures we move back to execution and fix the same. We also run the acceptance test plans from the user angle at this phase.
- Deploy: - Finally we are done and we deploy the same at the end customer premises.
- Next Iteration: - In this phase we analyze what features we have delivered and if not we pass it on to the next iteration. If everything is fine we take up the next iteration.
Figure: - Steps in a Iteration
Testing is done at end of each iteration. This ensures frequent checks on each deliverable of every iteration.
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