Discipline: Configuration & Change Management
This Discipline explains how to control and synchronize the evolution of the set of Work Products composing a software system.
Main Description

A CM System is essential for controlling the numerous Work Products produced by the many people who work on a common project. Control helps avoid costly confusion, and ensures that resultant Work Products are not in conflict due to some of the following kinds of problems:

Simultaneous Update

When two or more team members work separately on the same work work product, the last one to make changes destroys the work of the former. The basic problem is that if a system does not support simultaneous update this leads to serial changes and slows down the development process. However, with simultaneous update, the challenge is to detect that updates have occurred simultaneously and to resolve any integration issues when these changes are incorporated

Limited Notification

When a problem is fixed in work products shared by several developers, and some of them are not notified of the change.

Multiple Versions

Most large programs are developed in evolutionary releases. One release could be in customer use, while another is in test, and the third is still in development. If problems are found in any one of the versions, fixes need to be propagated between them. Confusion can arise leading to costly fixes and re-work unless changes are carefully controlled and monitored.

A CM System is useful for managing multiple variants of evolving software systems, tracking which versions are used in given software builds, performing builds of individual programs or entire releases according to user-defined version specifications, and enforcing site-specific development policies.

Some of the direct benefits provided by a CM System are that it:

  • supports development methods
  • maintains product integrity
  • ensures completeness and correctness of the configured product
  • provides a stable environment within which to develop the product
  • restricts changes to work products based on project policies
  • provides an audit trail on why, when and by whom any work products was changed

In addition, a CM System stores detailed 'accounting' data on the development process itself: who created a particular version (and when, and why), what versions of sources went into a particular build, and other relevant information.

An organization's CM System is used throughout the product's lifecycle, from inception to deployment. As an organization's asset repository, the CM system contains current and historical versions of source files of requirements, design and implementation artifacts that define a particular version of a system or a system component

The product directory structure represented in the CM System, contains all the artifacts required to implement the product. As such, the Configuration & Change Management (CCM) discipline is related to all the other process disciplines as it serves as a repository for their resultant sets of work products.These include:

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