Lean Development Principles for Branching and Merging

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conflicts via a centralized web interface - this would allow conflicts to be resolved from pretty much anywhere and by anyone and would reduce the overhead.

There is some similarity with this situation and the centralized code review system which has been implemented by Guido van Rossum at Google [3].

Conclusion
Branching and merging are a key practice in Software Configuration Management, and many organizations do not get the best value out of these practices. Applying Lean Principles can make a significant difference to your effectiveness.

The principles, and indeed the mindset, are key factors - if you are aware and looking for possibilities to improve your process you will find them (and most of the time they will not be difficult to implement). If you don't look and just rely on your tools support, or individual developers or teams to address this area, you are missing out big time.

We are keen to learn of more examples of good practice - let us know and continue to share.

References

        • Google Code Review Process, Guido van Rossum

        About the author

        Robert Cowham's picture Robert Cowham

        Robert Cowham has long been interested in software configuration management while retaining the attitude of a generalist with experience and skills in many aspects of software development. A regular presenter at conferences, he authored the Agile SCM column within the CM Journal together with Brad Appleton and Steve Berczuk. His day job is as Services Director for Square Mile Systems whose main focus is on skills and techniques for infrastructure configuration management and DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management) - applying configuration management principles to hardware documentation and implementation as well as mapping ITIL services to the underlying layers.

        About the author

        Brad Appleton's picture Brad Appleton

        Brad Appleton is a software CM/ALM solution architect and lean/agile development champion at a large telecommunications company. Currently he helps projects and teams adopt and apply lean/agile development and CM/ALM practices and tools. He is coauthor of the book Software Configuration Management Patterns, a columnist for the CMCrossroads and AgileConnection communities at Techwell.com,  and a former section editor for The C++ Report. You can read Brad's blog at blog.bradapp.net.

        About the author

        Steve Berczuk's picture Steve Berczuk

        Steve Berczuk is a Principal Engineer and Scrum Master at Fitbit. The author of Software Configuration Management Patterns: Effective Teamwork, Practical Integration, he is a recognized expert in software configuration management and agile software development. Steve is passionate about helping teams work effectively to produce quality software. He has an M.S. in operations research from Stanford University and an S.B. in Electrical Engineering from MIT, and is a certified, practicing ScrumMaster. Contact Steve at steve@berczuk.com or visit berczuk.com and follow his blog at blog.berczuk.com.

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