As IT systems have grown increasingly complex and mission-critical, effective configuration management (CM) has become critical to an organization’s success. Using CM best practices, IT professionals can systematically manage change, avoiding unexpected problems introduced by changes to hardware, software, or networks. Now, today’s best CM practices have been gathered in one indispensable resource showing you how to implement them throughout any agile or traditional development organization.
Configuration Management Best Practices is practical, easy to understand and apply, and fully reflects the day-to-day realities faced by practitioners. Bob Aiello and Leslie Sachs thoroughly address all six “pillars” of CM: source code management, build engineering, environment configuration, change control, release engineering, and deployment. They demonstrate how to implement CM in ways that support software and systems development, meet compliance rules such as SOX and SAS-70, anticipate emerging standards such as IEEE/ISO 12207, and integrate with modern frameworks such as ITIL, COBIT, and CMMI.
Review By: Harry Acosta, PMP, CSQE, CMQ/OE 03/11/2011The authors did an awesome job in this book. Even though the main focus of "Configuration Management Best Practices" is change management, Bob Aiello and Leslie Sachs describe software quality engineering principles in simple terms so that everybody involved in a software application project can understand the complete process, the value of individual roles, how to control and manage changes during development, and how all this relates to the overall product quality expected by the customer.
In my current role I have to deal a lot with IT controls and compliance to standards, so I immediately jumped to the relevant chapters. These chapters were very easy to understand and follow.
Since project managers work with and around people all the time, I then moved to Leslie Sachs’s chapter on personality to learn insights into people skills required to make the change management team successful, which were spot on. In this chapter, she provides a quick but deep psychology course on workplace, cultural, and personality dynamics that will prove very valuable to anyone in a leadership role within a change management organization when selecting team members, as well as ensuring optimal team cohesion and performance throughout the project.
This book also includes a section on deployment, an area of project management many books do not cover very well. However, in the deployment chapter, I missed the introduction of change management as it relates to effectively managing the process of introducing a new application in the organization, such as resistance to change by the users. A successful deployment is not only about good quality software but also about change management in people’s processes, skills, and mindsets.
In my previous projects, the areas of architecture and hardware change management always have been managed by a different group and thus have not been my forte. After reading the related chapters of this book, I now can better understand their importance and complexity. Even though standards usually get updated every three to five years, frameworks usually take longer, so I feel confident that this book will remain current five to ten years from now with only minor updates. The overview on change management in the first six chapters provides an excellent background for the novice on what change management is about but also provides advice for the expert on what works and what does not. This book should be in the shelf of every software project manager or quality engineer, as it is a helpful guide to minimize project setbacks and headaches due to poor planning or scope creep.