Constructing a Configuration Management Best Practice


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. 


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