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CM Crossroads on SCM for Small Teams

With Agile development comes almost first and foremost small teams. Small teams, that is, with respect to the "team" of traditional waterfall project lore. Equally important comes constant change; change to all artifacts, most namely the code itself.

Not always so apparent to those new to adopting this combination when agile comes their way is the continued need to pay close attention to good Software Configuration Management.  In fact, as experienced agile practitioners will assert, with agile's small teams comes a certain increased need for lean but comprehensive SCM practices.

Making this transition for many CM practitioners may not always be obvious or easy, but it is essential.

The July edition of CM Journal's "cm//crossroads", SCM essentials for small teams, is dedicated to this topic, providing a good set of articles to help readers address these challenges successfully.

Among the topics you'll find the following (and more):
  • In Applying CM To Agile Teams, Mario Moreira explains many of the more important issues faced when implementing CM in small teams.

  • In "Agile" Means Disciplined SCM, Alan Koch decomposes how many of agile's core practices partner with disciplined SCM. A snapshot:
    • Incremental Delivery means that the team is regularly making changes to a released baseline.
    • Welcoming Change means that requirements are always in flux, and a requirement may be changed even after it has been implemented.
    • Pair Programming and Collective Code Ownership mean that everyone needs to have access to all of the code all of the time, and collisions among changes are likely.
    • Continuous Integration means that the build process must be easy and bulletproof.

  • In Small Team Essentials: An SCM Perspective, Ben Weatherall discusses some of the common CM areas that small teams might have tended to skimp on and possibly why.

  • In SCM Essentials For Small Teams, Chaim Kirshen discusses the importance for such teams of tagging, recognizing the non-linearity of software development timelines, and the need for easy branching.

  • In CM: THE NEXT GENERATION of SCM For Small Business , Joe Farah discusses the the necessary steps one needs to be mindful of when introducing SCM into the team, and ideas on how to keep cost and effort as low and lean as possible.

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