I wanted to know the difference between agile lifecycle and agile unified process(AUP). I do understand that AUP is a modified version of RUP using agile methodology. Can you please elaborate on the differences between the two

2 Answers 2


The agile methodologies are a collection of iterative and incremental software development methodologies. The emphasis is on increasing collaboration and communication while reducing project risk and the impact of risks that do materialize. Common, but not required, characteristics include timeboxed iterations, frequent released (or possible releases), cross-functional teams, heavy interaction with the customer or customer/user representatives, and a drive toward maximizing value-added. Common implementations of agile methods include Crystal Clear, Scrum, Extreme Programming, and the Agile Unified Process.

The Agile Unified Process (AUP) is a particular process methodology framework that is modeled after IBM's Rational Unified Process (RUP). Although RUP is an iterative and incremental software development methodology, it is missing some aspects of agile development, such as frequent customer interaction and and increase in collaboration. RUP is artifact-driven, often relying on documentation, formal UML modeling, and verification and validation of the various work products. Entire suites of IBM/Rational tools are built to support this process.

AUP focuses on delivering value to the customer by moving the focus away from work products to working software. The emphasis moves away from following the process to tailoring the process and the outputs to deliver only the products in a "good enough" state to the right people. In addition, the use of the simplest tools is encouraged. In other words, it takes the heavier toolchains and workflows of RUP and makes it accessible to organizations that desire more agile approaches.


Pretty sure AUP is a specific flavor of Agile and describes an Agile lifecycle. So you are kinda comparing apples to fruit (a specific process to a general family of processes).

Check here (specifically here).

  • This is only referring to a consultant's page. Are there any industry references? Who uses these methodologies? Jan 17, 2012 at 7:45
  • 2
    @DipanMehta The consultant in question (Scott Ambler) was the one that developed AUP, so I see the link to his site as a valid source of information. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agile_Unified_Process as well.
    – Brandon
    Jan 17, 2012 at 21:58
  • Pretty useless stuff! This is neither Unified nor Agile! Jan 18, 2012 at 2:03

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