Software Configuration Management, Change Management, Release Management and Build Management

Fundamental Software Development involves the creation and manipulation of complex documents such as code, scripts and configuration files. Many businesses rely on the tireless effort of a few individuals to produce and maintain the software that is essentially the core operations that define the business. This too-common situation is a business risk and can drain company resources when competitive forces in the marketplace demand that you advance or change course.

PPC Professional Services has aided several businesses and many development teams to move to the next level of productivity and achieve scheduled, successful development processes that reduce risk to the overall business while increasing profits and productivity.

The software you use must change and improve over time. Otherwise its usefulness and its value constantly diminish. Conversely, over time, your software becomes increasingly complex, harder to operate, and more difficult to maintain as you modify it to adapt to your changing needs. Successful organizations of all sizes are applying the proven principles of Software Configuration Management (SCM) to control these inevitable opposing forces.

Software Configuration Management means you must do work to track and organize the changes that occur every day in your development environment and in the software your staff produce. Then you must apply that information to your infrastructure and to each step of your development process to make it repeatable and save history so that code issues and feature conflicts can be resolved quickly and with fewer business consequences.

PPC Professional Services can help you simplify this process by applying our experience with the tools, procedures and guiding principles that have made SCM an essential skill set for all successful development teams. The result will be improved Software Quality, reduction in wasted developer time spent on boring, costly, unproductive tasks that could have been avoided, and the elimination of technical dependencies on key people, allowing you to re-purpose highly paid staff toward revenue producing functions.

SCM includes and is related to three other disciplines that can, in large environments, become separate spheres of responsibility and activity.

Change Management means requesting changes to your systems, determining their feasibility, and then planning, implementing and finally evaluating their success.

Release Management means assessing the tasks, timeframe and priority of each change and strategizing how to combine these changes into releases that will reduce the risk of introducing new functionality and process change into your organization’s operations.

Build Management means organizing your development environment and your developer’s work processes to efficiently and consistently produce a quality software product by controlling the timing and policies governing when builds occur and what code they contain.

Through the increasing pace of the Software Industry, the concepts and tools to manage these critical aspects of present-day company operations with a range of levels of complexity and business value are available for you to implement in your organization. PPC Professional Services has the skills to install these tools, demonstrate best practices for their use, make the necessary improvements to your environment and train your staff to take advantage of them.

SCM is a powerful force that you need to put to use in your organization to increase productivity, reduce risk and costs, and accelerate your team’s ability to adapt to changing business conditions.

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