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Sun's AIM life-cycle view implies that there is a stately progression from architecture, through implementation, to management, but this is not the case. In practice, migration projects will iterate within phases and reenter preceding phases to improve the deliverables of those preceding phases. Sun considers assessment and technology planning work to be part of the architect phase, and the application of the AIM methodology assumes that a justification activity has already taken place.
For example, during the justification process, a business case will be delivered. Fact finding that occurs during the architect phase might require you to reevaluate the business case. In this case, the methodology requires that the justification activities be repeated. Because architecture includes fact-finding, assessment, and architectural planning activities, these classes of activities can be iterated so that increased fact-finding improves the solutions architecture. Clearly, implementation activities might require you to repeat architect phase activities to maintain the artifacts against changes undertaken during implementation. Project planning and estimation techniques, including product-based planning, time boxing, and variance management, should be used to ensure that plans are delivered on time.
Once a project deliverable goes live, it will require management and production quality change control processes. Any change to production configurations requires a project, and will therefore involve justification, architecture, and implementation activities.
The iteration of activities can occur within and between phases. The phases outlined here should not necessarily be confused with stages within the project plan. The project planning methodology will also mandate certain activities as projects transition between stages.
The following chapters detail the SunTone Architecture Methodology and the AIM life-cycle view. They explain how to apply the methodology and the principles of iteration and refinement to incrementally develop delivery artifacts. They also provide detailed information about the different phases of the methodology.
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