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"UML Distilled" - a query

 
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Martin Fowler talks in his book (among other things) about the
elaboration phase of his "outline" development process. Here is a statement of his, whose rationale I can't really understand; I wonder if somebody of you people that hang around in this forum could help me out with it. Here is the related excerpt from the book (p.26):
"...once your estimates (for the time to implement a use case) are in place, you can access whether you are ready to make the plan. Look at the use cases with high risk. If a lot of the project's time is tied up with these use case, you need to do more elaboration"
It is the very last phrase that I find the more "mysterious". Why would we need to do more elaboration, if a lot of the project's time is ties up with the high-risk use cases?
Thanks everyone,
Panagiotis.
 
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If you reread what Fowler is saying, he points out that the reasoning behind the cases being rated as high risk, is due to either lack of information about how to solve a task or the need to break a large task into smaller more manageable pieces. This requires more elaboration.
Hope this clears things up.
 
Panagiotis Varlagas
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You are correct. Fowler suggests that a use case be considered high-risk in either of the following three cases:
(1) Not well understood
(2) Understood, but considered to be very hard to implement
(3) Very critical for the system under construction.
So, now that you've put me to the right path it all makes sense:
(1) If many use cases are not well understood, then more elaboration is required in order for us to understand them and reduce risk.
(2) If many use cases are very hard to implement, then the whole development process becomes too risky. We need to do more elaboration to break down things in more manageable, easier to build components.
(3) Similar to (2).
I hope that what I just said makes sense
Thanks Nigel,
Panagiotis
 
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