Motorcycle CM


you are on the road, someone will pull out in front of you or swerve into your lane.  Sometimes people are oblivious, other times they are just careless.  Often, the cause doesn't matter to the rider getting squeezed.  It is imperative to gain other drivers attention and communicate your intentions to avoid conflict before it happens.  This same effort is true of CM.  We are usually much smaller and less visible.  It takes extra effort to make sure we stay on the organizational radar, engaging early in projects, so we can provide the maximum benefit.  We need to spend extra time making sure the other functional areas know and understand our tools and processes.  When change is happening, we need to be well ahead of the game.  Constant communication with the various functional and organizational leads makes it easier to stay on the same page.  We all have our own distractions on the SDLC road.  Make sure they know you are sharing that road.

Use the right gear
Ill-fitting equipment can be both uncomfortable and dangerous.  A loose helmet or constrictive clothing can cause irritation, distracting a rider from the dangers of the road.  If you frequently carry material, get a tank bag or saddlebags.  Backpacks can be awkward at times, especially when heavy.  On the CM side, are we using the right tools for the job?  Buying too much tool can be as bad as buying too much bike for a beginner.  Sure the tool can do some awesome things but if it's cumbersome and ill-fitting for the organization, it will be difficult to manage and cause unnecessary resentment.  Take the time to determine the needs of the organization both now and down the road.  Make the investments that need to be made.  Maybe that means blocking out some time to script some things that are time consuming or prone to error.  Maybe it means moving from open source to a COTS tool or vice-versa.  Organizations outgrow processes and tools and it's important to make sure you continue to evaluate what you have and how well it fits.

Preventative maintenance matters Keeping an eye on your bike and fixing problems promptly, before you are in traffic, can save you a lot of headaches and potential injury.  Check those brake cables to make sure they are operating smoothly.  Are the tires inflated properly?  Are the gears engaging firmly?  These things matter because a rider is often forced to react very abruptly to changing traffic patterns and cannot risk a system failure with a large truck bearing down.  In configuration management, the same can be true.  We might have to respond to emergency fixes, without conflicting with current development.  Was that workflow set up in advance?  What about server failures?  Are we keeping an eye on disk space?  Are we upgrading our toolsets in conjunction with the rest of the groups?  Are we applying patches from the vendors to avoid problems before they happen?  Are old configuration items being archived appropriately?  Most of us have a million things going on, limited budgets, and even less time to do the maintenance that matters.  Often, even when we know an audit is coming, we don't plan the time to make sure security is structured correctly.  We need to audit ourselves so we can do the preventive maintenance that keeps us running smoothly.

In conclusion
Motorcycling, like CM, is something that seems to attract particular personalities.  It requires an unusually high degree of attention to detail, the ability to react to very dynamic circumstances, and the ability to steer is a safe direction.  It

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