CM as Communication and Coordination Enabler

This article includes some of the material that Geoff Thorpe presented at a BCS CMSG event where he discussed the control of applications using change management, release management, and configuration management techniques. He discusses applications control from a hardware and software perspective.

It has long been recognized that these terms are not necessarily very clear to developers, project managers and others within your organization. There have been some recent discussions in the CM Crossroads forums about terminology and the CMBok (Body of Knowledge) has resurfaced with Mark Bools trying to prod things along.  I encourage this work.

Some of the classic signs of poor CM practices and processes can include:

  • Being unclear as to what the status of particular artifact is, including a software module or an application.
  • Which is the master version?
  • Which version was released and when?
  • Why was a particular change made?
  • What was the precise change made?
  • If something needs changed, what process needs to be followed?

This brings Rudyard Kipling's short poem to mind: 


I keep six honest serving men
(They taught me all I knew);

Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.


An Application/Service Catalog

One important aspect of CM is being clear about the documentation of what you are responsible for. ITIL refers to this as the service catalog.It may seem like a simple and obvious concept, but can be surprisingly difficult in practice, and many organizations are not in very good shape.



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