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Is the Rational Unified Process (RUP) dead?

 
Greenhorn
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Apologies for the somewhat attention grabbing subject line!

I’m studying for a MSc in Information Capability Management and am writing an assignment on the Rational Unified Process (RUP).

According to Kruchten’s “Rational Unified Process: An Introduction” (pp 18-19, 1999) the “RUP product” consists of: “an online version of the RUP: a fully hyperlinked Web site description in HTML” and “a set of manuals that describe the process” both of these are subject to “regular updates [which] are released by Rational Software.”

Is this product still in print (or if online, being updated); or is it no longer maintained as an ongoing concern?  I am sure there are organisations that still use RUP and have documentation in their corporate knowledge banks; but if an organisation wanted to start using RUP tomorrow would they be able to purchase it or would it be a case of looking on ebay for second hand books?  

I appreciate Rational Software has now been acquired by IBM; I’ve searched their website and emailed them a query but haven’t (yet) got an answer.  The IBM site still has lots of tools (and training) which presumably support RUP (i.e. Rational DOORS Requirement Manager) – but as far as I can see the tools, although important, aren’t the ‘product’ itself (or not at least as I understand from Kruchten's "The RUP as a product" section).

Grateful for any ideas.

NB: There was similar post on this, but it was 4 years ago, so things may have moved on:
https://coderanch.com/t/562927/po/certification/IBM-RUP-industry
 
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This is just an opinion so take it as you would a shot of tequila: with a few grains of salt and a lime wedge.

For me, RUP is as alive as COBOL is and if you can still find a company that actively uses it, you'll probably find that they still use COBOL, too. If I were to interview with a company and learned during the interview that they used RUP and had no plans to soon move away from it, I would politely ask to end the interview and get out of there as quickly as I can. On the way out, it wouldn't surprise me the least bit to see cubicles filled with piles of documentation and walls full of Dilbert clippings from the late 1990s and early 2000s.
 
Junilu Lacar
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And welcome to the Ranch!
 
Junilu Lacar
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According to its Wikipedia article, RUP was acquired by IBM in 2003. The most recent article referenced there was from 2007, as far as I can tell. Nine years in Internet time is an eternity so the odds of me being right about RUP's survival status seem to lean in my favor.
 
Bob Withins
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Junilu - Thanks very much for your feedback on this.  I like your comparison with COBOL, that's a good way of putting it.  

Although I would say I like Dilbert clippings from the 1990s...  
 
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IBM modified RUP to be closer to Agile principles and released to open source community as OpenUP A guy named Scott Ambler has also modified RUP into a more Agile like variation called Agile Unified process. The wikipedia article says that AUP was superceded by Disciplined Agile Delivery

Practically, no company I have ever seen follows any pure Agile methodology. Every company adapts agile to it's own use. More often than not, people bring their previous experience into Agile, and adopt Agile accordingly. It's very very likely that there are companies in which the Director of R&D is a person who used to follow RUP, and has now some sort of Agile-RUP hybrid going on. Or a company might have adopted RUP, and then some consultant told them "you need to do agile". So, they said "We are doing agile", and adapted their RUP to be more agilish so they can get a box checked

I would say RUP has more or less morphed. You won't find anyone saying "Yes, we follow RUP". Actually, now days, you won't find any company who is going to say "You know, we are not agile. In fact, we re a big proponent of phased development" Like Junilu said earlier, this company going to have a hard time attracting talent. They will say they are agile, even if they are RUP-agile
 
Bob Withins
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Jayesh,

Thanks for the comment, admittedly I've finished the essay now, but still interested

I was aware of the efforts to make it more agile (OpenUP) etc; interestingly though Martin Fowler (one of the original signatories of the Agile Manifesto) said this about RUP:

"My experience with RUP is that its problem is its infinite variability. I've seen descriptions of RUP usage that range from rigid waterfall with 'analysis iterations' to picture perfect agile. It's struck me that the desire of people to market the RUP as the single process led to a result where people can do just about anything and call it RUP - resulting in RUP being a meaningless phrase." - http://martinfowler.com/articles/newMethodology.html



So Fowler thinks RUP could be executed in an agile format as is.  

And of course there's the whole grey area of when people say they are following a methodology are they actually doing so.  As you say it is their take on it.  That doesn't necessarily work so well for academia where the desire is to put things into boxes/frameworks and compare.

Anyway onto my next essay now (the 'context' of the organisation in relation to IS projects), so best stop procrastinating and get on with it ;)


 
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