Applying Configuration Management to Agile Teams

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CM Co-op Evironments
If your organization plans to deploy agile in a big way, you need to have a CM co-op environment (tools, infrastructure, and processes) available to quickly bring agile projects online and use CM immediately.

In a more traditional methodology, you have until the development phase to get the CM environment up and running. With an agile methodology, the CM environment needs to be ready right after iteration planning which is much earlier than the development phase of a more traditional method.

This is where an organization should consider a CM co-op service model to more quickly bring projects into using CM environment. This can be particularly advantageous when an organization is trying to bring several agile projects online within the same time period.

The CM co-op eliminates the need for installing the CM tools, setting up the infrastructure, and establishing the processes. Instead, all that needs to occur is either setting up a repository following the established CM process or setting up a project branch within an existing repository.

Automate
Simply put, CM for agile requires more automation. Agile implies that the project team is developing product earlier and faster than the traditional methodology. Manual processes start to become bottlenecks to the progress that Agile can provide. Moving to more automated solutions removes bottlenecks and allows the team to focus more on development.

Of course, having automation within any methodology is beneficial, but for agile it becomes necessary. Some examples previously discussed are build automation (for continuous builds) and merge automation. In addition, unit test automation and integration test automation can be added. Automating other types of testing is also beneficial (e.g., regression testing, performance testing, etc.) but outside of the realm of CM.

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, and has worked in the CM field since 1986 and in the Agile field since 1998. He 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. He holds an MA in Mass Communication with an emphasis on communication technologies. Mario also brings years of Project Management, Software Quality Assurance, Requirement Management, facilitation, and team building skills and experience. Mario is the author of a new book entitled “Adapting Configuration Management for Agile Teams” (via Wiley Publishing). It provides an Agile Primer and a CM Primer, and how to adapt CM practices for Agile Teams. Mario is also the author of the CM book entitled, “Software Configuration Management Implementation Roadmap.” It includes step-by-step guidance for implementing SCM at the organization, application, and project level with numerous examples. Also consider visiting Mario’s blog on CM for Agile and Agile adoption at http://cmforagile.blogspot.com/.
 

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