Standards and Frameworks for CM: A Different Perspective

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If you are expecting me to recommend one over the other, this is not your article. I recommend that you pick a standard that is best suited for your culture, office politics and maturity level. Choose carefully, because the standard you pick can be devastating to your group, team, or company. All too often in IT, decisions are made in search for the illusive, silver bullet that will solve the problems of the IT shop, group, or company. Unfortunately, the choice is made and based on false pretenses: If I make this choice, we can improve the way things are done and everything will fall into place and we will get better. The particular standard or framework will not have as much to do with success or failure as the external issues that no framework or standard can address.

The culture at your organization will have a lot to do with success or failure of your standard or framework implementation.  If you have a culture that allows developers to code despite the number of errors in their code and to continue to churn out defects, no matter how much process you put in place bad code will continue.  The only difference is, you will have a better idea of the number of defects and who is causing them.  The decision making aspect of your culture will also influence the success or failure of any framework or standard implementation.  If you have a top down decision making culture, many at the lower ranks will see this as merely another corporate edict to go along with the twenty others collecting dust on the shelf.  If you have a bottom up culture of change with little action or support by upper management, this can become equally counterproductive.  If the culture of your organization is based on quality results and doing things right, then your chance of success are better.  If the culture of you organization is organized chaos ruled by heroes saving the day, then failure will be more likely to prevail than success. 

The culture of your company, group, division or team will also play a major role in the success or failure of any standard or framework that is chosen.  How does culture differ from politics in the workplace?  I feel that the culture of the organization is the lifeblood of that organization; it determines how issues are approached, how issues are handled,


About the author

Joe Townsend's picture Joe Townsend

Joe Townsend has been working in the configuration management field for fifteen years. He has worked for CNA Life Insurance, RCA, Boeing, UPS, and INPRS. Joe has primarily worked with Serena tools, including PVCS Version Manager, Tracker, SBM, and Dimensions, is also an administrator for WebFocus, Service Now, and supports Eclipse users. He is responsible for building all of the applications at his current location, which includes a desktop and web-based client.

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