Change Management


"Agile" Means Disciplined SCM

For many people, Agile software development congers up the thought of "undisciplined" software development. The reality is that using an Agile approach to its greatest benefit requires discipline in a variety of ways.  None is more critical than the discipline of software configuration management. Agile teams are generally small, but their SCM needs are big. 


Alan S. Koch
Can Configuration Management Defend You Against Information Asymmetry?

Information Asymmetry is what happens when one party to a transaction has more relevant information than the other, and doesn't share it. Configuration management, done right, has the power to eliminate asymmetry, or at the very least - lessen its impact on projects.

Robert Benjamin
How Release Management Can Help Agile Teams

As many have learned, using Agile methods can provide solid business benefits including earlier return on investment, earlier detection of failed efforts, and more satisfied stakeholders. However, when applying Agile methods to product-lines (and projects therein), often there are dependencies on other products (and their projects), services, and organizations that may run in a more waterfall or hierarchical manner. If the Agile project and product therein are self-sustaining with no dependencies on outside factors, life can be quite good. But most of the Agile projects I have worked with or visited have varying degrees of dependencies on other products or services that run in a more waterfall or hierarchical manner.

Mario  Moreira's picture Mario Moreira
The Practice of Good Release Management Processes in CM

We build software as part of a system or as its own entire product. The goal is to meet the requirements established by the customer, the market and/or the cost/benefits analysis. Product releases are meant to move us from some starting point to our ultimate product over a period of time: months, years or even decades. Release management starts not with the delivery of software, but with the identification of what we're planning to put into the product. The timing and content of releases helps us to manage releases so that they are not too onerous on the customer and so that we stay in a competitive position with our products. Good release management processes will ensure that you know what is going to go into your product, what actually went into the product, and what changes the customer is going to realize upon upgrading.

Joe Farah's picture Joe Farah
Software Configuration Management Project Baselines

A project baseline is the fundamental CM technique for release management. Configuration management has historically been about managing the acquisition of new products. To that end, a set of baselines is defined corresponding to various milestones in the product development cycle. These baselines reflect different expressions of the final product and include the functional, allocated, and released baselines.

Austin Hastings
CM Tools and Transparency in IT Governance

When it comes to IT governance, a key issue is transparency of process and data, all the way up the chain.

Joe Farah's picture Joe Farah
Standards That Are Worth Following

Conventional wisdom tells us that standards are a good thing. They are based on best practices and provide guidance to help people do their jobs well. They are so widely accepted that their worth almost goes without saying. As with most things that go without saying, though, standards are not always what they are built up to be. In spite of the plethora of standards in the software industry, we still struggle to achieve successful projects. Even in organizations that are standard-centric, projects end up in challenged (or worse) states.


Alan S. Koch
How the Next Generation of CM and ALM Solutions Will Influence the Market

CM architecture has the ability to influence the market even more so than vice versa. The complexity of CM and ALM forces vendors to take the lead in market development. But the market will have its influence, and those solutions with strong architectures will be in the best position to serve that market. Last year at this time, I identified where I thought the CM solution space was heading generally. Looking back two and three years ago, I painted a bit of a picture of what defines 3rd and 4th generation CM/ALM solutions. Over the next couple of years, we should expect to see competitive and market pressures push the industry into the 3rd generation.

Joe Farah's picture Joe Farah
Addressing Challenges to Ensure Successful Tool Integrations

Tool integrations have been going on ever since the initial days of JCL (IBM's Job Control Language). JCL actually made things a lot simpler. But as tools have become more complex and diverse, tool integration presents many challenges. How do you integrate user interface and simplify the corresponding training? What about administration? How do you deal with varying scalability capabilities, and varying server requirements? What about multiple site operation? Successful tool integrations must effectively address these issues and must do so by starting from a process-centric view of the world.

Joe Farah's picture Joe Farah
Checklists – You build me up just to knock me down

The code review checklist is the bane of developers.  Thirty-odd check-boxes await, each requiring thoughtful consideration before the liberating tick mark can be applied.  Twenty source files, freshly altered, are awaiting verification.  The math is simple: 20 x 30 = 600 decisions, no matter how you tackle the problem.  This is going to suck.

Jason Cohen


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