Culture, Methods, and Governance and Their Impact on CM


Most professionals in the software development industry recognize the need for Configuration Management (CM).  CM has been around long enough for people to have experienced problems when CM was either not in place or when the level of CM was insufficient for the needs of the work.  CM values of identification, control, audit, and report are meant to ensure integrity of the product under development.  These days, almost everyone has, at least, version control practices which include a version control tool and a simple checkout/checkin process.  However, as with any engineering discipline, the level of the CM implementation (since CM is much more than just version control) will depend greatly on the culture along with the methods and governance that exist within the company.

Think of it as having several gauges: the main gauge for culture, with two minor gauges for methods and governance. What methods and governance an organization has does contribute to the culture, but they also indicate the level of importance an organization places on these areas.


Visibility into these three areas can help you gauge how readily the organization will accept CM, the level of CM they will accept, and the best approach for implementing CM into the organization. Avoiding the mistake of introducing too much CM at one time can help with the acceptance of additional CM practices over time.

For example, if the culture is a closed one, the methods used are mostly ad hoc, and governance is lax, then it will be challenging to introduce CM practices into the organization. Even if the culture is open, but governance is lax and methods are ad hoc, then it still can be challenging to introduce or improve CM practices. If the culture is somewhat open, the current methods used are mature, and the governance is somewhat strong, then introducing CM will be easier. In this case, there can be advantages in aligning CM with the current methods.


About the author

AgileConnection is a TechWell community.

Through conferences, training, consulting, and online resources, TechWell helps you develop and deliver great software every day.