CM Generations and a Vision for the Future

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Project management capabilities provide a living work breakdown structure (WBS) capability where activities can be broken down into tasks and sub-tasks. When integrated with state-based workflow, some of the tasks will automatically appear in the WBS, and be assigned to the appropriate resources, because of a feature or a build reaching a specific state. Prioritized to-do lists (task lists) should drive each team member forward, especially in an agile development shop using an iterative integration approach.

Process advances for 3G tools include:

·         Integrated process workflow capability

·         Access permissions beyond those offered by the file/network system

·         A seamless integration of configuration, change and product management functionality

·         Extensive and easy customization of process, user interface and data schema

·         Support for end-to-end traceability, interactively and through reports, from products and requirements to builds and test cases

·         Real-time metrics to support timely decisions and process improvement

·         Advanced data import, export and reporting capabilities

·         Integrated project management with WBS support and planning and projection capabilities

·         Integrated requirements management and test suite management with traceability

3G Process affects a number of management applications encompassing a significant portion of the development cycle. In a 3G CM tool, it is not sufficient to glue together these applications. They must be fully integrated, seamlessly, so that the user is not aware of multiple management tool interfaces or the delays which occur by having queries which span multiple repositories.

It's also imperative that the processes reflect the customer's processes. Yet the customer does not want to be burdened with defining the correct process up front before using the CM tool. In fact, the customer won't understand the CM problem domain until well along the development and release road map. So it will be imperative that incremental changes can be made quickly and easily without any down time.

Yes, But Can I Get At My Data
Reliability and availability are crucial factors when deadlines are tight or teams are large. An outage of even a couple of hours can be costly. A 3G CM tool is not at the mercy of a server or network link. Nor is it acceptable that the tool presents poor performance as the number of concurrent users climb. 3G criteria include:

·         High reliability and availability (less than 24 hours outage/year including scheduled upgrades)

·         Full transaction journaling and data recovery capabilities

·         Availability of on-line user forums and support centers

·         Advanced backup and/or redundancy capabilities

About the author

Joe Farah's picture Joe Farah

Joe Farah is the President and CEO of Neuma Technology and is a regular contributor to the CM Journal. Prior to co-founding Neuma in 1990 and directing the development of CM+, Joe was Director of Software Architecture and Technology at Mitel, and in the 1970s a Development Manager at Nortel (Bell-Northern Research) where he developed the Program Library System (PLS) still heavily in use by Nortel's largest projects. A software developer since the late 1960s, Joe holds a B.A.Sc. degree in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto. You can contact Joe at farah@neuma.com

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