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Where Does the Rational Unified Process Fit in All of This?

Thus far, we have discussed many of the challenges faced by outsourced projects, but we have not mentioned the Rational Unified Process (RUP). In fact, we have not discussed any aspects of software development. Why? The reason is simple. The challenges faced by outsourced projects mostly center on communication, cultural, business management, and other "soft" issues. A disciplined process (such as the RUP) does not provide all its intended benefits when the environment surrounding the project is in chaos or disorganization. Many projects that otherwise would have been successful have failed due to poor communication between the technical team and the business managers, poorly set expectations, and poor management from a business perspective. In these situations, no software process—RUP or otherwise—will result in success.

The RUP stresses close collaboration between teams and stakeholders. It is vital to break down as many communication barriers as possible before many of the RUP's benefits can be realized. The next chapter examines the RUP to help you understand what makes it different from traditional development processes, such as the Waterfall lifecycle process.

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