The purpose of the Transition
Phase is to transition the software product into the user
community. Once the product has been given to the end user, issues usually
arise that require the development of new releases, correct problems, or finish
some of the features that may have been postponed.
The Transition Phase is entered
when a baseline is mature enough to be deployed in the end-user domain. This
typically requires that some usable subset of the system has been completed
with acceptable quality level and user documentation so that transition to the
user will provide positive results for all parties. This includes: 1) "beta
testing" to validate the new system against user expectations, 2) beta testing
and parallel operation relative to a legacy system that it is replacing, 3)
conversion of operational databases, 4) training of users and maintainers, 5)
roll-out to the marketing, distribution and sales forces. The Transition Phase
concludes when the deployment baseline has achieved the completed vision. For
some projects this lifecycle end point may coincide with the lifecycle starting
point of the next cycle, leading to the next generation or version of the
product. For other projects it may coincide with a complete delivery of the
artifacts to a third party responsible for operations, maintenance and
enhancements of the delivered system.
The transition focuses on the
activities required to place the software into the hands of the users.
Typically this phase includes several iterations, including beta releases,
general availability releases, and bug fix and enhancement releases.
Considerable effort is expended in developing user-oriented documentation,
training users, supporting users in their initial product use, and reacting to
user feedback. At this point in the lifecycle, however, user feedback should be
confined mostly to product tuning, configuring, installing and usability
The primary objectives of the
Transition Phase include:
Achieving stakeholder concurrence
that deployment baselines are complete and consistent with the evaluation
criteria of the vision.
Achieving final product baseline
as rapidly and cost effectively as practical.
The essential activities of the
Transition Phase are:
cutover, commercial packaging and production, sales rollout, field personnel
Tuning activities: bug fixing,
enhancement for performance and usability.
Assessment of the deployment
baselines against the complete vision and the acceptance criteria for the
In the Transition Phase, the
activities performed during an iteration depend on the goal: for fixing bugs,
implementation and test are usually enough. If new features have to be added,
the iteration is similar to the Construction Phase.
This phase can range from very
simple to extremely complex, depending on the kind of product. A new release of
an existing desktop product may be very simple, whereas the replacement of a
nation's air-traffic control system may be very complex.