OUM 5.4 - Read Me First

If you're new to the Oracle® Unified Method (OUM), or it has been a while since you have explored OUM, please begin with these steps:

1. Understand OUM's Vision 

Oracle is evolving the Oracle® Unified Method (OUM) to achieve the vision of supporting the entire Enterprise IT lifecycle, including support for the successful implementation of every Oracle product. 

2. Understand the basic structure of OUM 

OUM includes three focus areas  Manage, Envision, and Implement. 

  • OUM's Manage Focus Area provides a framework in which all types of projects can be planned, estimated, controlled, and completed in a consistent manner. At present, OUM Manage includes Oracle's Project Management Method (PJM) and Oracle's Program Management Method (PGM) and should be considered Oracle's single, global project management method. 
  • OUM’s Envision Focus Area deals with development and maintenance of enterprise level IT strategy, architecture, and governance. Envision also assists in the transition from enterprise-level planning and strategy activities to the identification and initiation of specific projects. 
  • OUM's Implement Focus Area provides a framework to develop and implement Oracle-based business solutions and replaces all of Oracle's legacy implementation methods like AIM Foundation, AIM for Business Flows, Compass, Results Roadmap, etc.
OUM provides a number of "views" that are designed to provide an initial tailoring of OUM or a starting point for using OUM to accomplish different types of objectives. 

3. Understand the OUM Implement Core Workflow 

The OUM Implement Focus Area contains a comprehensive set of materials to support business software implementation projects. With so much important material included in OUM, it is easy for practitioners to become overwhelmed and not be able to isolate and comprehend the core of OUM’s approach to software implementation.

The OUM Implement Core Workflow View was created to identify the core tasks within the Implement Focus Area and should serve to accelerate the understanding of OUM by new practitioners and help to keep project teams focused on these tasks. You should review and understand this core workflow before proceeding further into the OUM Implement Focus Area. 

4. Understand some key OUM concepts 

  • Do not serve the method; make it serve you. The purpose of methods is to identify and manage risks, improve repeatability and quality, and encourage knowledge capture and reuse. If you’re not going to need it, don’t do it.

  • OUM should be scaled to fit your project. You should do no more than is necessary to satisfy the requirements of the project and appropriately address risks. The recommended approach for scaling OUM is to –
    • Start developing your workplan from a core set of OUM tasks.
      • Consider the OUM Implement Core Workflow.
    • Add tasks to the workplan as you identify scope and risk.
      • e.g., Performance Management, Technical Architecture, Documentation, Organizational Change Management, Services, etc.
    • Consider the depth to which your project team will execute specific tasks during specific iterations.
      • Under the proper circumstances, spending the time to simply consider a task can constitute executing that task.
      • It is often better to consider tasks than to completely eliminate tasks from your workplan.
    • Consider whether it is advisable to combine tasks or work products, or execute at the Activity level.

  • The outputs of tasks are called “work products.” In OUM, the output of a task is called a work product to eliminate the risk of having method deliverables confused with contractual deliverables. Contractual deliverables are specifically referenced in the contract and often have a payment schedule associated with their acceptance. Contractual deliverables may be method work products, but they may also reference additional deliverables not documented by the method.

  • Work products (or artifacts) need not be documents. OUM provides templates for many of its tasks. Use of these templates is optional. They should be used only when appropriate to the context of the project. Work products can just as easily be a model in a repository, a prototype, a set of application code, or even the tacit knowledge contained in the brain of a developer. (Yes! This is an appropriate way to work, under the right circumstances.) Written documentation should be produced only when it is essential for the project’s success or the future operation and maintenance of the resulting software system and the business it supports.

  • A focus on understanding the most significant risks and requirements of the system is more important than producing elegant models or perfect documents. For example, not every model needs to be fully attributed to adequately manage design or implementation risks. On the other hand, skipping tasks simply to save effort may be a false economy, especially when implementing sensitive or mission critical systems.

5. Understand OUM's philosophical foundation 

  • OUM is standards based. OUM leverages one of the de facto industry standards, the Unified Software Development Process (UP). UP is an iterative and incremental approach to developing and implementing software systems. Project managers use OUM to make sure they and their stakeholders develop a shared understanding of what is needed, choose an appropriate architecture, and transfer the ownership of the end-product to the stakeholders. OUM extends the UP to support the full scope of Oracle-related projects by incorporating field experience and intellectual capital contributed by Oracle practitioners. For further reading on UP, see The Unified Software Development Process.

  • OUM is iterative and incremental. OUM recognizes the advantages of an iterative and incremental approach to development and deployment of information systems. Any of the tasks within OUM may be iterated. Whether or not to iterate, as well as the number of iterations, varies. Tasks may be iterated to increase quality of the work products to a desired level, to add sufficient level of detail, or to refine and expand the work products on the basis of user feedback.

  • OUM provides guidance for both "Requirements-Driven" and "Solution-Driven" approaches to development and implementation of software that supports business needs.

  • OUM is flexible and scalable and supports both Agility and Discipline. OUM is designed to support a broad range of project types. As such, it must be flexible and scalable. The appropriate point of balance for a given project will vary based on a number of project risk and scale factors. The method has been developed with the intent that the approach for a given project be “built up” from a core set of activities to implement an appropriate level of discipline, rather than tailored down. For further reading on agility and discipline, see Balancing Agility and Discipline: A Guide for the Perplexed.

6. Understand the improvements that have been included in this release of OUM 

This release of OUM, 5.4.0 , features:

  • Accelerated OUM for Solution-Driven Implementations Supplemental Guide (Oracle Only)
  • Oracle Support Services Supplemental Guide
  • Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) Tactical Project Delivery View
  • Manage technique: Metrics for Agile Projects
  • Envision Models View
  • Envision techniques: Accelerating SOA Maturity, Measuring SOA for Improved Business Value, Operational Troubleshooting, Service Engineering Process Monitoring, SOA Capacity Planning
  • Enhanced / Updated:
    • Core Workflow View
    • "Planning a Project Using the Oracle Unified Method (OUM) - An Iterative and Incremental Approach" White Paper
    • "Managing an OUM Project using Scrum" White Paper
    • OUM Manage Focus Area Work Breakdown Structure
    • Template Styles and Format

Upcoming releases of OUM will include:

  • Expanded support for Oracle's full complement of Enterprise Application suites including: 
    • Product-suite specific materials
    • Guidance for tailoring OUM to support various engagement types

7. Contribute to our future success 

Please contribute your thoughts, comments, ideas, and work products or artifacts to Oracle's Global Methods team so that we may continue to improve this body of work. Contact Oracle's Global Methods team at ominfo_us@oracle.com.

8. Learn more 

We recommend reading the following:

  • The Unified Software Development Process
  • The Agile Manifesto
  • Balancing Agility and Discipline: A Guide for the Perplexed
  • UML Distilled