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.
If you're planning a configuration management (CM) project, it's time to put together a CM Plan. A CM plan can take on many forms and the CM Crossroads site is a great place to investigate what goes into a plan. In this article I'm going to concentrate on a number of areas that need to be addressed in your plan in order to follow best practices.
What's Your Product Road Map
You may be putting together a CM plan for a project, or for an entire organization. One of the first things that you need to do is to consider which products (including process products) are going to be managed under your CM plan. You then need to look at the products and for each identify the product road map. If you're creating software for a one-time event, such as the display controller for the celebration of a new millennium, you may only have one release of the software to worry about. Your product road map will be a straight line targeted towards the millennium celebration.
But most software will have an ongoing sequence of major releases, with perhaps some milestone releases in-between. A product road map for something like Microsoft's Windows OS might look something like the one below, with the dotted line representing today: