The common CM practices include:
· Change control: for managing various important baselines
· Problem management: for tracking defect/issues to closure
· Version control: for checkout/checkin of code
· Build management: for build/compile of code into deliverables (this may include continuous build)
· Branching/merging: for parallel development (project, bug fix, special, patch, etc.)
· Release: for installation of deliverables into production
· Audit: to verify or validate items are on baseline and that people are following practices
· Reporting: for CM status reporting
· Planning: for constructing and executing on a configuration management plan
Before embarking on a practice initiative, it is important to determine the perceived value of the practices and prioritize the work from there.
In conclusion, practices are a great way to introduce organizations to processes that are important for success. However, to establish a practice for the greatest chance of adoption, certain components of a practice need to be included (aka, the practice package). Looking across an organization to harvest practices is a good way to start. Ensure that SMEs collaboratively build out the practice with the necessary components and consider piloting the practice in key areas to seek improvements. Then, a broader rollout of the practice may commence. If a number of folks are using the practice, it may then be consider a best practice.