Software Configuration Management

We have approaching 15 years experience of configuration management, predominantly software configuration management, spanning most sizes of company and industry sectors. You can see a comprehensive list on our Case Studies webpage. We have also worked with configuration management tools from a wide range of vendors, as shown on our CM Tools & Technologies webpage.

Software Development Lifecycle - SDLC

Typical Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC)

Our smallest client for configuration management was a High-Street retailer with barely a dozen in-house programmers. They were also Serena’s smallest ever customer for the enterprise level Serena Dimensions CM tool. Our work here spanned the full lifecycle from identifying the full service management process needs and defining the SCM process; installing Serena Dimensions, configuring it, and defining the full process lifecycle within it; automating the migration of all CIs into it, and determining the branch/merge and baseline strategies; working with the vendor’s staff to automate build management; ensuring the full test lifecycle was properly supported; and of course controlling software release from the SCM repository. Naturally we trained the client’s staff on all this too.

Moving up the scale a bit in terms of size we undertook a similar workshopping exercise with a client in the aviation industry, that had recently taken over a competitor and acquired all its software products in the process. The ex-company however had no formal software configuration management processes, and no consistency across any of its ten developers. Our task was to define a new process that encompassed not just them, but also another 100 developers spread across two distant sites. Once our CM plan was designed and approved we managed a number of the client’s own staff to get the solution running in PVCS Version Manager and Serena TeamTrack, through a SourceBridge link. The process included a full testing lifecycle right through to UAT. In addition to training the staff, we left the client with a 170 page user guide describing the process, that effectively became the company’s ITIL service management ‘bible’.

Possibly our highest profile client, in that any failure would have been very public, involved the Transport for London (TfL) Congestion Charging Scheme. It has a published go-live date, that simply could not be slipped under any circumstances, and the majority of the software development was outsourced offshore. We successfully worked alongside, and supported, the client’s own CM department to ensure that all software required for go-live was in the right place, at the right time, and of the required quality. The result was an undoubted success (except perhaps for those who pay the daily charge of course…).

Perhaps our largest direct client was one a High-Street bank, with 1,500+ programmers spread across two sites and broken into nearly 100 “teams.” Each team worked as an autonomous unit, but had to be “persuaded” to adopt the new company-wide configuration management process that had been signed off by the bank’s IT director. In some cases achieving this was easier than others, and every team presented its own challenges through a mixture of legacy technologies and working practices. We worked alongside selected members of the clients staff, and a similar number of Merant’s own in-house consultants, to migrate everybody into the Dimensions CM tool on schedule.

We have worked on more SCM projects than just this, of course, but hopefully this page has served to whet your appetite and give a flavour of our breadth of experience. Don’t forget to look at our Case Studies for more details, and of course Contact Us if you would like to discuss how we can help you achieve your ITIL-compliant SCM aspirations.

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