The Rational Unified Process is a software engineering process that provides a disciplined approach to assigning tasks and responsibilities within a development organization. Its goal is to ensure the production of high-quality software that meets the needs of its end-users, within a predictable schedule and budget.
It enhances team productivity, by providing every team member with easy access to a knowledge base with guidelines, templates and tool mentors for all critical development activities. By having all team members accessing the same knowledge base, no matter if you work with requirements, design, test, project management, or configuration management, we ensure that all team members share a common language, process and view of how to develop software.
The Rational Unified Process activities create and maintain models. Rather than focusing on the production of large amount of paper documents, the Unified Process emphasizes the development and maintenance of models — semantically rich representations of the software system under development.
This metodology is supported by tools, which automate large parts of the process. They are used to create and maintain the various artifacts — models in particular — of the software engineering process: visual modeling, programming, testing, etc. They are invaluable in supporting all the bookkeeping associated with the change management as well as the configuration management that accompanies each iteration.
The RUP is a configurable process. No single process is suitable for all software development. It fits small development teams as well as large development organizations.