ABCs of a Branching and Merging Strategy


Decide the level of risk you are willing to accept as it relates to the stability of the various branches you are using.

·       Prepare a branching model (similar to the one in Figure 2) so that those you support can visually understand the branching and merging strategy and where they are working. Walk-through a scenario using this model.

With this information, a branching model may be designed with the type of branches needed and how they are positioned. This provides project personnel with an understanding of the branch structure and the merge tasks (and associated testing). Having a long-term branching strategy in place can help you manage change now and into the future.


1. "Software Configuration Management Patterns: Effective Teamwork, Practical Integration" by Stephen P. Berczuk with Brad Appleton, 2003, Addison Wesley.

2. "Software Release Methodology" by Michael E. Bays, 1999 Prentice Hall PTR.

About the author

Mario  Moreira's picture Mario Moreira

Mario Moreira is a columnist for the CM Journal, a writer for the Agile Journal, an author, an agile and CM expert for CA. He has worked in the CM field since 1986 and in the agile field since 1998. Mario has experience with numerous CM technologies and processes and has implemented CM on over 150 applications/products, which include establishing global SCM infrastructures. He is a certified ScrumMaster in the agile arena having implemented Scrum and XP practices. Mario is the author of Adapting Configuration Management for Agile Teams  and Software Configuration Management Implementation Roadmap. Also consider visiting Mario’s blog on CM for Agile and Agile adoption at

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