Business Criticality and the Investment of CM


Determining Business Criticality
The next step is to determine the level of importance of the products that will need CM. This will help determine the order of the work and CM effort needing to be applied. If the company in which you work has ten products that need CM, the question is which to prioritize first, second, third, and so on. Investigate if there is a business criticality rating already assigned to the products. If not, conduct a brief evaluation with the product owners, collecting the following data for each product:

·         Is the product in production (e.g., has it been released) and what is the potential impact to the customer base if product cannot deliver the next release?

·         Current or expected future revenue of the product over the next year

·         Current version and change control problems on the products

Based on this data, a simple business criticality ranking can be established. High scores should be given to products that have already been released and have an existing customer base. Without CM, any level of regression in the product can cause dissatisfaction. High scores should be given to those products currently generating large revenue and those expected to do so in the next year. Without CM, any level of regression in the product can cause a loss in revenue. High scores should be given to products that have immediate version and change control problems where there is regression or lost code.


       Product A

     Product B

     Product C

Released (in production)

10 (Yes)

0 (No)

5 (nearing)

Current revenue/expected revenue

5/10 ($1m/$2m)

0/5 ($0/$500K)

0/5 ($0/$500K)


5 (yes)

0 (no)

5 (yes)





Business criticality ranking





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

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