1.0    Introducton

1.1    Scope

The purpose of the Ada 95 Transition Planning Guide is to provide Program Executive Officers (PEOs) and Program Managers (PMs) with the guidance necessary to develop an effective plan that directs the activities of their programs in the transition to Ada 95. The planning guide provides a simple, three step process to begin the management of an Ada 95 transition.

The first step, assess transition needs, requires that the PEO or PM assess the state of their program and establish the transition goals and needs. The second step requires that the PEO or PM identify the transition activities unique to their transition effort. The transition activities presented in this guide focus on the unique transition needs of organizations in the following four scenarios:

The final step of the transition process, managing the transition risks, assists the PEO or PM in assessing the impact of known risks and developing plans to minimize their effect.

The transition planning guide helps PEOs and PMs initiate the detailed planning of a transition to Ada 95. The guide also provides a transition plan template to help the PEO and PM get started with developing their specific transition plan, addressing their program needs, strategies, and risks. The guide does not discuss general software management, technology insertion, or general technology transition issues, but rather focuses on addressing those considerations that are specific to Ada 95. The guide's intentions are to assist PEOs/PMs in identifying the Ada 95 specific transition activities that can be inserted into an overall transition project management plan.

This is a living document for PEOs and PMs and is intended to be periodically revised based on the lessons learned and experience gained through various Ada 95 transition efforts. Additional comments and suggestions are welcome. (See Appendix D, Comments/Change Requests Form.)


1.2    Audience

The Ada 95 Transition Planning Guide’s primary audience is Department of Defense (DOD) PEOs and PMs who manage software development and maintenance efforts, however, it can be useful to all managers planning to migrate their systems to Ada 95. This document discusses the transition planning for both the acquisition and systems development life cycle of software.

It is assumed the user of this document has the following knowledge and experience:

1.3    Making the Transition to Ada 95

The Ada 95 Transition Planning Guide is one of the three resources that are available to support PEOs and PMs in their transition to Ada 95. The three resources are:

The process of transitioning to Ada 95 is depicted in Figure 1-1. The Ada 95 Adoption Handbook assists PEOs/PMs in making the decision whether or not a move to Ada 95 would benefit their programs. The Handbook presents both technical and cost issues related to Ada 95 that need to be considered as PEOs/PMs plot the future course of their programs. Once the decision to transition to Ada 95 has been made and a commitment to the transition is secured, the planning process can begin. The Adoption Handbook, Transition Planning Guide, and Starter Teams are all valuable resources that PEOs/PMs have at their disposal in planning the transition. The Handbook presents planning issues that need to be considered, the Plan provides the planning guidance, and the Starter Teams bring critical Ada 95 expertise. The Ada 95 Starter Teams provide the supplementary support that PEOs/PMs require to successfully plan and execute the transition effort. The objective of these teams is to make the transition as quickly and efficiently as possible, to capture lessons learned that are incorporated into the transition planning guide, and to improve the transition process. These three resources ensure that the decision to transition is well-founded, that the transition plan directly addresses the needs of the organization, and that PEOs/PMs have Ada 95 expertise available to assist them. For more information regarding these three resources, contact the Ada Joint Program Office or the Ada Information Clearinghouse.


1.4    The Ada 95 Transition Framework

Figure 1-1. Making the Transition to Ada 95

In planning a transition to Ada 95, a framework of three considerations should be examined: the transition type, the current phase in the development life cycle, and the type of effort. These considerations play a critical role in defining the most appropriate transition path for a PEO/PM to follow. The framework, shown in Figure 1-2, illustrates the factors that affect transition planning decisions. For each unique combination of these considerations, there are specific activities that most effectively guide a program on the road to Ada 95.

Transition Types

Programs will make the transition to Ada 95 from a variety of existing systems and languages. For each of the four transition types in Figure 1-2, the activities required to ensure success will differ significantly. The transition from Ada 83 to Ada 95 is a fairly simple and straightforward effort. The issues involved are similar to those of adopting a new version of a compiler (i.e., ensuring upward compatibility, maintaining functional integrity). In contrast, the transition from a procedural language involves more training, cost, and coordination to ensure that the migration to object-oriented technology, new language syntax, unfamiliar compilers and toolsets, is properly managed and controlled.


Figure 1-2. Ada 95 Transition Framework

Life Cycle Phase

Timing with respect to the system development life cycle also plays an important role in the transition planning process. The earlier in the life cycle that the decision to use Ada 95 is made, the more manageable the transition will be. The stage of the system's life affects the decision whether to transition at all and also factors into the degree to which the transition is initially made. In most cases, a phased transition approach may be most appropriate, controlling the amount of change that is introduced into the system and program at one time. The phases of the life cycle which represent critical points in planning the transition to Ada 95 are listed below:


These life cycle phases relate differently to in-house and contracted efforts. Table 1-1 relates these phases to their equivalent activities for both types of efforts.

Table 1-1. Life Cycle Phases

Type of Effort

While many of the required activities are similar, in-house and contracted transitions require a slightly different perspective. Organizational capabilities and the ability to carry out the task are more difficult to measure for contracted efforts. This requires that creative methods be used in evaluating contractors to measure their expertise and may require that a contractor's performance be more closely monitored during the execution of the transition. The differences in actually performing the transition versus overseeing it affect the types of transition activities identified and the decisions made in the planning process.

These transition type, life cycle phase, and type of effort comprise the primary considerations involved in planning the transition to Ada 95 and identifying the specific activities required to move a program to Ada 95. Secondary considerations will exist for every unique transition including general technology transition issues, cost, change management techniques, and project scheduling. Issues such as these are not discussed in this guide and are left to the reader's best judgement. The recommended activities for transitioning under any of the above scenarios can be found in Section 4.

1.5    Document Organization

The document is structured to logically guide a PEO or PM through the process of developing a transition plan for their system. The document is divided into the following sections:

Section 1, Introduction, provides the document’s scope, intended audience, and goals.

Section 2, discusses Planning for the Transition to Ada 95 by introducing the transition process and template.

Section 3, Assessing Transition Needs helps a PEO or PM evaluate readiness and helps to identify transition goals and needs.


Section 4, details the Transition Activities for each of the four scenarios introduced earlier:

Section 5, Managing the Transition Risks, identifies approaches for ensuring the Ada 95 transition goes smoothly.

Section 6, Bringing the Plan Together, summarizes the activities discussed in Section 3 through 5 and prepares the PEO/PM to execute the transition plan.

Appendix A details the Ada 95 Transition Planning Template that serves as a worksheet for DOD PEOs and PMs.

Appendix B lists the Additional Resources that PEOs and PMs can use to assist them in their transition planning.

Appendix C provides a list of Acronyms used in this document.

Appendix D contains a Comment/Change Request Form.

Next Section - 2.0 Planning the Transition to Ada 95

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