Understanding the Software Change Management Process

When it comes to software change management process, you need to understand that change is inevitable. Change management can help you direct and coordinate these changes. In fact, the only constant in the software development process is change. From the original concept through many different stages of completion to basic maintenance updates, a software product changes constantly.

Every change determines whether the software will meet certain requirements, and the project will be completed within budget and time. The primary objective of the project manager is to properly manage software change.

An Overview of the Change Management Process

Most software projects already have SCM or software configuration management in place. If properly designed, software configuration management becomes a major component of basic software change management. However, it is important to understand that software configuration management is just an additional process. It primarily focuses on capturing a software’s important versions for necessary future reference.

In the worst case scenario, software configuration management serves as a specific backup procedure. If software configuration management is just left at the lower level, the project manager can only notice the changes when they happen, preach employees against making some bad changes, and hope the software gradually evolves as expected. However, evolution is always very difficult to schedule and predict.

In simple terms, software change management is the standard process of choosing which changes need to be encouraged. It also focuses on which changes should be allowed, and which should be prevented. Every decision needs to be taken according to different project criteria, like cost and schedule. The process properly identifies the origin of these changes, defines some critical decision points, and establishes various project responsibilities and roles.

It is very important to understand that crucial process components, and their specific relationships. The change management policy and process need to be defined within the company’s business structure. These should also be integrated with the team’s development process. It is worth mentioning that change management is never an isolated process. Therefore, the project team needs to be clear on when, what, why and how to carry out this process.

The basic relationship between software configuration management and change tracking is right at the core of the change management process. Software configuration management standards usually define change control as a basic, subordinated task after identifying configuration. Due to this, some developers have started considering SCM as a good way to prevent some changes rather than support them.

When developers emphasize the SMC and change tracking relationship, change management allows them to focus on making and selecting the most appropriate changes efficiently. In this particular context, software configuration management addresses workspaces, releases, versions and builds.

A change data repository can easily support any basic change management process. While tracking these changes, testers, users and developers enter data on new items. This allows them to maintain perfect status.

Software configuration management also draws on the changed data to document different releases and versions. These are used to update the data store to properly link different changes before implementation.

Software change management is a very important part of project management. In order to accomplish various project goals, developers need to make constant changes to the software. Software change management process is crucial to provide your business with more efficiency and productivity.

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Christopher Smith
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.
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