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How to Manage the Change within the Change?

How can we manage change to software that is not completely tested?

For example: For a fictitious name I will use "Big Company
Software" (BCS) 1.01.00. Each month BCS goes through the following
cycle:

Evaluate and Accept Customer Requests
Plan
Design
Develop
Build
Test
User Test
Deployment

So for example in month 1 BCS 1.01.00 is released. On month 2 BCS
1.02.00 is released etc. Also for example the evaluation, plan, design
and development takes place in the first 20 days of the month and test/
user test takes place in the last 10.

But on month 2, on day 5 for example, we receive a customer request
that MUST be incorporated into BCS 1.02.00 but only 5 days "ahead of"
the release of BCS 1.03.00 in month 3.The change must also be rolled
forward to all successive versions of BCS.

At this point should changes be created in two separate places? Would
it be possible that changes would be made in BCS 1.03.00 when 1.03.00
is in process and not fully tested?

My core question is how to manage change in-between change?

0
rm
4/12/2007 10:46:55 PM
comp.software.config-mgmt 1850 articles. 0 followers. Post Follow

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On Apr 12, 11:46 pm, "rm" <gro...@rlmoore.net> wrote:
> How can we manage change to software that is not completely tested?
....
> My core question is how to manage change in-between change?

I find it is hard to make an answer that you'd find useful.
I mean at the level of generality of the question, there
is no universal agreement on the solution,
and rather an extremely wide variety of them.
There isn't in fact wide agreement on the terminology either,
which most people aren't aware of.

I'd first object that your question has some oxymoronic aspects:
it only means anything to manage something "that is not
completely tested" and "in-between change".

I.e. if you understand the last 'change' as in an ACID transaction,
a stable (thus 'completely tested') state, there is no need to
'manage' anything anymore.
Of course, one could object that this is only an artefact of the
thinking model: nothing is ever 'completely tested' (testing only
ever detects failures, and never validates anything--contrast
with verification).

So to 'manage' something in an SCM sense, you must support
the existence of different versions of it (trade the word with
'variant', if you think it is dangerously overloaded--the other is as
well, but at least you have two).
Then clearly identify the set of all these versions (as a
representation of the 'it'); understand the differences between all
the versions; track the dependencies between the selection you
make of one version in different sets, and attempt to reduce the
noise to a bare minimum, so that all the remaining differnces
are pure 'signal' (have a clear meaning and reason).

That's too abstract?
In short: manage means share as much as possible, so as to
reduce the amount of information.

Typical killers are:
- exclusive control
- overspecification and artficial coupling
- coarse granularity
- lack of tool support

Marc

0
Marc
5/5/2007 2:37:04 PM
Reply:

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