In his CM: the Next Generation series, Joe Farah gives us a glimpse into the trends that CM experts will need to tackle and master based upon industry trends and future technology challenges.
Querying Release Information
Release management, with appropriate tools and data capture, will allow easy identification of the following information (not exhaustive by any means).
1. What problems were addressed by the release?
2. What new features are there in this release as compared to the current customer's deployment?
3. Which pre-existing features are currently not working?
4. What are the outstanding problems?
5. How does the new release quality compare to the previous release?
6. Is problem X fixed in this release?
7. What problems must be addressed before then release goes out the door?
The list goes on and on, as I'm sure you know. If this information, though present, is not readily available, then the value of the information is reduced. Information that takes three days to compile cannot be used in the same way as that which takes only thirty seconds. You can't explore within the context of a meeting if every question you have is going to take days to answer. You can't answer customer queries in a timely fashion if you can't get at the information quickly.
It is not sufficient for a solution to have the information that can be mined. It has to be readily presented in its various forms (graphical, detailed, metrics, etc.). It must also be possible to identify and navigate traceability links in an intuitive fashion.