Configuration Management and Simplicity - The Five "T" Approach to Keeping it Simple


helps them relate their part to the larger effort.

Interestingly, the National Cancer Institute issued ten points to "iterative software development." One of these items was the feedback loop that tracking provides.  They state: "The only way to truly control a software project is to continuously measure its progress, compare that progress against the plan, and then adjust the development parameters to correct any deviation from the plan. This is the foundational motivation for
all iterative methods."

The National Cancer Institute speaks wisdom in saying "building software is more than writing code. A software development process must focus on all activities necessary to deliver quality to its customers."

5. Teamwork

The expression is cliché in project management of any type; however, do not lose sight of its importance. The "Ohh-Rah"of teamwork needs to be substantiated with all the above points of approach. 

Let's face it; most problems that arise in any complex project are often people problems. People problems may be abated by having a vigilant and conscientious approach to building teamwork and understanding the different cultures of the team players.

Team players come from different perspectives.  They have different knowledge bases, and have different interests at hand in working on the project.

In using the four items discussed above, teamwork falls into place almost

For example, understanding that somebody is located halfway around the globe, is
working from the perspective of a different culture, and in a different time zone is important information to keep the dispersed team on the same page.

Scrutinizing and selecting the right technology tool to manage your project affords a harmonious working environment in managing software configuration is critical.

Traceability allows actions and events of the project to be isolated, should problems
arise.   Doing so will allow managers and leaders of the project team to see how any specific actions by members of the team or their duties and responsibilities as well as their accountability can be monitored to ensure that the team is kept on pace and
that their schedule is reasonable and up to standards. Traceability allows project leaders to compare one part of a team to another, to understand and insure the division of labor and keep that division equitable.         

Tracking keeps the entire team synchronized with each other and communicates
progress. It accounts for the status of an overwhelming project at any given time. 

This is an excellent means of communicating between team members so that all are
kept abreast of the overall project and how their efforts relate to that overall project.

The above tenets are a mere slice of the guiding principles used to create successful software configuration management efforts.  They are a practical and simplistic way of
boiling down complex configuration management efforts so they are not in that
majority of software development efforts that never make it to completion.

Rich Bianchi is the president of Alexsys Corporation ( visit, based in Stoneham, Massachusetts.  Alexsys' Team Pro software manages complex projects.  It is used by software development teams. Alexsys Corporation is an innovator in software solutions designed to automate the management of tasks and business processes associated with any kind of organization. Alexsys Corporation's solutions have been deployed by hundreds of organizations of all sizes around the world, including leading Fortune 50 companies in the petroleum, financial services and telecommunications
industries as well as large government agencies. For more information visit:

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