Configuration Management Best Practices: Practical Methods That Work in the Real World
  • Configuration Management Best Practices: Practical Methods That Work in the Real World
  • Configuration Management Best Practices: Practical Methods That Work in the Real World
  • Configuration Management Best Practices: Practical Methods That Work in the Real World
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Configuration Management Best Practices: Practical Methods That Work in the Real World

by Robert Aiello, Leslie Sachs
     
 

ISBN-10: 0321685865

ISBN-13: 9780321685865

Pub. Date: 08/31/2010

Publisher: Addison-Wesley

Successfully Implement High-Value Configuration Management Processes in Any Development Environment

As IT systems have grown increasingly complex and mission-critical, effective configuration management (CM) has become critical to an organization’s success. Using CM best practices, IT professionals can systematically manage change, avoiding

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Overview

Successfully Implement High-Value Configuration Management Processes in Any Development Environment

As IT systems have grown increasingly complex and mission-critical, effective configuration management (CM) has become critical to an organization’s success. Using CM best practices, IT professionals can systematically manage change, avoiding unexpected problems introduced by changes to hardware, software, or networks. Now, today’s best CM practices have been gathered in one indispensable resource showing you how to implement them throughout any agile or traditional development organization.

Configuration Management Best Practices is practical, easy to understand and apply, and fully reflects the day-to-day realities faced by practitioners. Bob Aiello and Leslie Sachs thoroughly address all six “pillars” of CM: source code management, build engineering, environment configuration, change control, release engineering, and deployment. They demonstrate how to implement CM in ways that support software and systems development, meet compliance rules such as SOX and SAS-70, anticipate emerging standards such as IEEE/ISO 12207, and integrate with modern frameworks such as ITIL, COBIT, and CMMI. Coverage includes

  • Using CM to meet business objectives, contractual requirements, and compliance rules
  • Enhancing quality and productivity through lean processes and “just-in-time” process improvement
  • Getting off to a good start in organizations without effective CM
  • Implementing a Core CM Best Practices Framework that supports the entire development lifecycle
  • Mastering the “people” side of CM: rightsizing processes, overcoming resistance, and understanding
    workplace psychology
  • Architecting applications to take full advantage of CM best practices
  • Establishing effective IT controls and compliance
  • Managing tradeoffs and costs and avoiding expensive pitfalls

Configuration Management Best Practices is the essential resource for everyone concerned with CM: from CTOs and CIOs to development, QA, and project managers and software engineers to analysts, testers, and compliance professionals.

Praise for Configuration Management Best Practices

“Understanding change is critical to any attempt to manage change. Bob Aiello and Leslie Sachs’s Configuration Management Best Practices presents fundamental definitions and explanations to help practitioners understand change and its potential impact.”

–Mary Lou A. Hines Fritts, CIO and Vice Provost Academic Programs, University of Missouri-Kansas City

“Few books on software configuration management emphasize the role of people and organizational context in defining and executing an effective SCM process. Bob Aiello and Leslie Sachs’s book will give you the information you need not only to manage change effectively but also to manage the transition to a better SCM process.”

–Steve Berczuk, Agile Software Developer, and author of Software Configuration Management Patterns: Effective Teamwork, Practical Integration

“Bob Aiello and Leslie Sachs succeed handsomely in producing an important book, at a practical and balanced level of detail, for this topic that often ‘goes without saying’ (and hence gets many projects into deep trouble). Their passion for the topic shows as they cover a wonderful range of topics–even culture, personality, and dealing with resistance to change–in an accessible form that can be applied to any project. The software industry has needed a book like this for a long time!”

–Jim Brosseau, Clarrus Consulting Group, and author of Software Teamwork: Taking Ownership for Success

“A must read for anyone developing or managing software or hardware projects. Bob Aiello and Leslie Sachs are able to bridge the language gap between the myriad of communities involved with successful Configuration Management implementations. They describe practical, real world practices that can be implemented by developers, managers, standard makers, and even Classical CM Folk.”

–Bob Ventimiglia, Bobev Consulting

“A fresh and smart review of today’s key concepts of SCM, build management, and related key practices on day-to-day software engineering. From the voice of an expert, Bob Aiello and Leslie Sachs offer an invaluable resource to success in SCM.”

–Pablo Santos Luaces, CEO of Codice Software

“Bob Aiello and Leslie Sachs have a gift for stimulating the types of conversation and thought that necessarily precede needed organizational change. What they have to say is always interesting and often important.”

–Marianne Bays, Business Consultant, Manager and Educator

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780321685865
Publisher:
Addison-Wesley
Publication date:
08/31/2010
Pages:
229
Sales rank:
1,407,704
Product dimensions:
6.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Preface xxi

Introduction xxxiii

PART I THE CORE CM BEST PRACTICES FRAMEWORK 1

Chapter 1 Source Code Management 3

Terminology and Source Code Management 5

Goals of Source Code Management 5

Principles of Source Code Management 6

1.1 Why Is Source Code Management Important? 6

1.2 Where Do I Start? 7

1.3 Source Code Management Core Concepts 9

1.3.1 Creating Baselines and Time Machines 9

1.3.2 Reserved Versus Unreserved Checkouts 10

1.3.3 Sandboxes and Workspaces 11

1.3.4 Variant Management (Branching) 11

1.3.5 Copybranches Versus Deltas 12

1.3.6 How to Handle Bugfixes 12

1.3.7 Streams 14

1.3.8 Merging 15

1.3.9 Changesets 16

1.4 Defect and Requirements Tracking 16

1.5 Managing the Globally Distributed Development Team 17

1.6 Tools Selection 19

1.6.1 Open Source Versus Commercial 21

1.6.2 Product Maturity and Vendor Commitment 21

1.6.3 Extensibility and Open API 22

1.6.4 Don’t Overengineer Your Source Code Management 22

1.7 Recognizing the Cost of Quality (and Total Cost of Ownership) 23

1.7.1 Building Your Source Code Management Budget 24

1.8 Training 24

1.8.1 The “Bob Method” for Training 24

1.9 Defining the Usage Model 25

1.10 Time to Implement and Risks to Success 26

1.11 Establishing Your Support Process 26

1.12 Advanced Features and Empowering Users 27

Conclusion 27

Chapter 2 Build Engineering 29

Goals of Build Engineering 30

Principles of Build Engineering 30

2.1 Why Is Build Engineering Important? 31

2.2 Where Do I Start? 32

2.3 Build Engineering Core Concepts 32

2.3.1 Version IDs or Branding Your Executables 32

2.3.2 Immutable Version IDs 33

2.3.3 Stamping In a Version Label or Tag 33

2.3.4 Managing Compile Dependencies 33

2.3.5 The Independent Build 34

2.4 Core Considerations for Scaling the Build Function 34

2.4.1 Selling the Independent Build 35

2.4.2 Overengineering the Build 35

2.4.3 Testing Your Own Integrity 36

2.4.4 Reporting to Development Can Be a Conflict of Interest 37

2.4.5 Organizational Choices 37

2.5 Build Tools Evaluation and Selection 38

2.5.1 Apache Ant Enters the Build Scene 38

2.5.2 Of Mavens and Other Experts 38

2.5.3 Maven Versus Ant 39

2.5.4 Using Ant for Complex Builds 39

2.5.5 Continuous Integration 40

2.5.6 CI Servers 40

2.5.7 Integrated Development Environments 40

2.5.8 Static Code Analysis 41

2.5.9 Build Frameworks 41

2.5.10 Selecting Your Build Tools 41

2.5.11 Conducting the Bakeoff and Reaching Consensus 42

2.6 Cost of Quality and Training 42

2.7 Making a Good Build Better 42

2.7.1 “Bob-Proofing” Your Build 43

2.7.2 Test-Driven Builds 43

2.7.3 Trust, But Verify 43

2.7.4 The Cockpit of a Plane 44

2.8 The Role of the Build Engineer 44

2.8.1 Know What You Build 45

2.8.2 Partner with Developers 46

2.8.3 Drafting a Rookie 46

2.9 Architecture Is Fundamental 46

2.10 Establishing a Build Process 47

2.10.1 Establishing Organizational Standards 47

2.11 Continuous Integration Versus the Nightly Build 47

2.12 The Future of Build Engineering 48

Conclusion 48

Chapter 3 Environment Configuration 49

Goals of Environment Configuration Control 50

Principles of Environment Configuration Control 51

3.1 Why Is Environment Configuration Important? 51

3.2 Where Do I Start? 51

3.3 Supporting Code Promotion 52

3.4 Managing the Configuration 52

3.4.1 Which Database Are You Using? 53

3.4.2 Did That Trade Go Through? 53

3.4.3 How About a Few Tokens? 54

3.4.4 Centralizing the Environment Variable Assignment 55

3.5 Practical Approaches to Establishing a CMDB 55

3.5.1 Identify and Then Control 56

3.5.2 Understanding the Environment Configuration 56

3.6 Change Control Depends on Environment Configuration 56

3.7 Minimize the Number of Controls Required 57

3.8 Managing Environments 57

3.9 The Future of Environment Configuration 57

Conclusion 58

Chapter 4 Change Control 59

Goals of Change Control 60

Principles of Change Control 60

4.1 Why Is Change Control Important? 61

4.2 Where Do I Start? 61

4.3 The Seven Types of Change Control 61

4.3.1 A Priori 62

4.3.2 Gatekeeping 62

4.3.3 Configuration Control 62

4.3.4 Change Advisory Board 63

4.3.5 Emergency Change Control 64

4.3.6 Process Engineering 64

4.3.7 Senior Management Oversight 64

4.4 Creating a Change Control Function 65

4.5 Examples of Change Control in Action 65

4.5.1 The 29-Minute Change Control Meeting 66

4.5.2 Change Control at the Investment Bank 66

4.5.3 Change Control at the Trading Firm 67

4.5.4 Forging Approvals 69

4.6 Don’t Forget the Risk 69

4.7 Driving the CM Process Through Change Control 69

4.8 Entry/Exit Criteria 70

4.9 After-Action Review 71

4.10 Make Sure That You Evaluate Yourself 71

Conclusion 71

Chapter 5 Release Management 73

Goals of Release Management 74

Principles of Release Management 74

5.1 Why Is Release Management Important? 75

5.2 Where Do I Start? 75

5.3 Release Management Concepts and Practices 76

5.3.1 Packaging Strategies That Work 76

5.3.2 Package Version Identification 76

5.3.3 Sending a Release Map with the Release 77

5.3.4 What Does Immutable Mean? 77

5.4 The Ergonomics of Release Management 77

5.4.1 Avoiding Human Error 78

5.4.2 Understanding the Technology 78

5.4.3 Tools from Build Engineering 79

5.4.4 Avoiding Human Error 79

5.4.5 My Own Three-Step Process 79

5.4.6 Too Many Moving Parts 80

5.5 Release Management as Coordination 80

5.5.1 Communicating the Status of a Release 80

5.5.2 Don’t Forget the Release Calendar 80

5.5.3 RM and Configuration Control 81

5.6 Requirements Tracking 81

5.7 Taking Release Management to the Next Level 81

5.7.1 Using Cryptography to Sign Your Code 82

5.7.2 Operating Systems Support for Release Management 82

5.7.3 Improving Your RM Process 2

Conclusion 83

Chapter 6 Deployment 85

Goals of Deployment 86

Principles of Deployment 86

6.1 Why Is Deployment Important? 87

6.2 Where Do I Start? 87

6.3 Practices and Examples 87

6.3.1 Staging Is Key 87

6.3.2 Scripting the Release Process Itself 89

6.3.3 Frameworks for Deployment 89

6.3.4 What If Bob Makes a Mistake? 89

6.3.5 More on the Depot 90

6.3.6 Auditing Your Release 90

6.4 Conducting a Configuration Audit 91

6.5 Don’t Forget the Smoke Test 92

6.6 Little Things Matter a Lot 92

6.7 Communications Planning 92

6.7.1 Announcing Outages and Completed Deployments 93

6.8 Deployment Should Be Delegated 93

6.9 Trust But Verify 93

6.10 Improving the Deployment Process 93

Conclusion 94

PART II ARCHITECTURE AND HARDWARE CM 95

Chapter 7 Architecting Your Application for CM 97

Goals of Architecting Your Application for CM 98

7.1 Why Is Architecture Important? 99

7.2 Where Do I Start? 99

7.3 How CM Facilitates Good Architecture 99

7.4 What Architects Can Learn From Testers 99

7.4.1 Testing as a Service to the Developers 100

7.5 Configuration Management—Driven Development (CMDD) 101

7.6 Coping with the Changing Architecture 101

7.7 Using Source Code Management to Facilitate Architecture 102

7.8 Training Is Essential 102

7.9 Source Code Management as a Service 103

7.10 Build Engineering as a Service 103

Conclusion 103

Chapter 8 Hardware Configuration Management 105

Goals of Hardware CM 106

8.1 Why Is Hardware CM Important? 106

8.2 Where Do I Start? 107

8.3 When You Can’t Version Control a Circuit Chip 107

8.3.1 A Configuration Item by Any Other Name 107

8.3.2 Version Control for Design Specifications 108

8.4 Don’t Forget the Interfaces 108

8.5 Understanding Dependencies 108

8.6 Traceability 108

8.7 Deploying Changes to the Firmware 109

8.8 The Future of Hardware CM 109

Conclusion 109

PART III THE PEOPLE SIDE OF CM 111

Chapter 9 Rightsizing Your Processes 113

Goals of Rightsizing Your CM Processes 114

9.1 Why Is Rightsizing Your Processes Important? 115

9.2 Where Do I Start? 115

9.3 Verbose Processes Just Get in the Way 116

9.4 SPINs and Promoting the CMM 117

9.5 Disappearing Verbose Processes 117

9.5.1 Agile Processes Just Work 118

9.5.2 Open Unified Process 118

9.5.3 Getting Lean 119

9.5.4 An Extremely Brief Description That I Hope Motivates You to Take a Closer Look at Lean Software Development 119

9.6 The Danger of Having Too Little Process 120

9.7 Just-in-Time Process Improvement 120

9.8 Don’t Overengineer Your CM 120

9.9 Don’t Forget the Technology 121

9.10 Testing Your Own Processes 121

9.11 Process Consultation 122

9.11.1 Transparency That Is Genuine 122

9.12 Create a Structure for Sustainability 122

Conclusion 123

Chapter 10 Overcoming Resistance to Change 125

Goals of Overcoming Resistance to Change 126

10.1 Why Is Overcoming Resistance to Change Important? 127

10.2 Where Do I Start? 127

10.3 Matching Process to Culture 127

10.4 Mixing Psychology and Computer Programming 129

10.5 Process Improvement from Within 129

10.6 Picking Your Battles 131

10.7 Fostering Teamwork 131

10.8 Why Good Developers Oppose Process Improvement 132

10.9 Procedural Justice 132

10.10 Input from Everyone 132

10.11 Showing Leadership 133

10.12 Process Improvement People May Be the Problem 133

10.13 Combining Process and Technology Training 134

10.14 Listening to the Rhythm 135

10.15 Processes Need to Be Tested 136

10.16 Baby Steps and Process Improvement 136

10.17 Selling Process Improvement 137

10.18 What’s in It for Me? 137

10.19 Process Improvement as a Service 137

10.20 Guerrilla Tactics for Process Improvement 138

Conclusion 139

Chapter 11 Personality and CM: A Psychologist Looks at the Workplace 141

Goals of Understanding Personality: What’s in It for Me? 142

11.1 Personality Primer for CM Professionals 144

11.2 What Do CM Experts Need to Consider in Terms of Personality? 146

11.2.1 Communication Styles 147

11.2.2 Do Men and Women Use and Interpret Language Differently? 147

11.2.3 Effective Consultation 148

11.2.4 Verifying the Message 148

11.2.5 Information Processing Preferences 149

11.2.6 Birth Order at Work 150

11.2.7 Firstborns as Leaders 150

11.2.8 The Middle-Born Compromiser 151

11.2.9 The Youngest as Initiator 151

11.2.10 The Only Child 151

11.2.11 Being Yourself 152

11.3 Applying Psychology to the Workplace 152

11.3.1 Effective Teamwork Begins at Home 153

11.3.2 Volleyball or Effective Collaboration 153

11.3.3 Embedding Build Engineers and Testers in the Development Team 153

11.3.4 Blackbox Versus Whitebox Versus Graybox 154

11.3.5 Group Dynamics That Can Damage the Organization 154

11.3.6 Where CM and QA Fit In 154

11.4 Family Dynamics! 155

11.4.1 Indecisiveness 155

11.5 Workplace Culture and Personality 156

11.5.1 Personality and Structure 156

11.5.2 We Already Invented All the Good Ideas 157

11.5.3 Loose Cannons Who Don’t Want to Comply 157

11.5.4 Enforcing Process, While Still Keeping the Train Moving 158

11.5.5 Formulas for Success 158

11.5.6 Caveats 159

Conclusion 159

Chapter 12 Learning From Mistakes That I Have Made 161

Goals of Learning from Mistakes 162

12.1 Why Is It Important to Learn from Our Mistakes? 162

12.2 Where Do I Get Started? 162

12.3 Understanding Our Mistakes 163

12.4 The Mistakes I Have Made 163

12.4.1 Missing the Big Picture 163

12.4.2 Writing Release Automation Can Be Challenging . 164

12.4.3 Thinking That a Good Process Will Carry Itself 165

12.4.4 Failing to Gain Consensus 165

12.4.5 Failing to Show Leadership for CM 165

12.4.6 Becoming Part of the Problem 165

12.4.7 Forgetting to Ask for Help 166

12.5 Turning a Mistake into a Lesson Learned 166

12.5.1 Clarifying What I Need to Get the Job Done 166

12.5.2 Getting the Training That I Need 167

12.6 Common Mistakes That I Have Seen Others Make 167

12.6.1 Ivory Tower 167

12.6.2 Failing to Get Technical and Hands-On 167

12.6.3 Not Being Honest and Open 168

Conclusion 168

PART IV COMPLIANCE, STANDARDS, AND FRAMEWORKS 169

Chapter 13 Establishing IT Controls and Compliance 171

Goals of Establishing IT Controls and Compliance 172

13.1 Why Are IT Controls and Compliance Important? 173

13.2 How Do I Get Started? 173

13.3 Understanding IT Controls and Compliance 174

13.3.1 Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 174

13.3.2 Management Assessment of Internal Controls 174

13.3.3 Committee of Sponsoring Organizations 175

13.3.4 Cobit as a Framework for IT Controls 176

13.3.5 What Does It Mean to Attest to And Report on the Assessment Made by the Management? 176

13.3.6 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 177

13.3.7 When the GAO Comes Knocking 177

13.3.8 Results of the Audit 178

13.3.9 GAO Reports on NARA’s Configuration Management Practices 179

13.3.10 ERA Configuration Management Plan 179

13.3.11 Areas for Improvement 180

13.3.12 Understanding the Results of the Audit 180

13.3.13 Office of the Comptroller of the Currency 181

13.4 Essential Compliance Requirements 181

13.4.1 Providing Traceability of Requirements to Releases 182

13.4.2 Production Separation of Controls 182

13.5 The Moral Argument for Supporting CM Best Practices 182

13.6 Improving Quality and Productivity Through Compliance 183

13.7 Conducting a CM Assessment 183

13.7.1 Assessment First Steps 184

13.7.2 Listen First Regardless of How Bad the Situation Appears 184

Conclusion 185

Chapter 14 Industry Standards and Frameworks 187

Goals of Using Industry Standards and Frameworks 188

14.1 Why Are Standards and Frameworks Important? 188

14.2 How Do I Get Started? 189

14.3 Terminology Required 189

14.3.1 Configuration Item 189

14.3.2 Configuration Identification 190

14.3.3 Configuration Control 190

14.3.4 Interface Control 190

14.3.5 Configuration Status Accounting 191

14.3.6 Configuration Audit 191

14.3.7 Subcontractor/Vendor Control 192

14.3.8 Conformance Versus Noncompliance 192

14.4 Applying These Terms to the Standards and Frameworks 193

14.5 Industry Standards 193

14.5.1 IEEE 828–Standard for Software Configuration Management Plans 193

14.5.2 ISO 10007–Quality Management Systems–Guidelines for Configuration Management 195

14.5.3 ANSI/ITAA EIA-649-A–National Consensus Standard for Configuration Management 196

14.5.4 ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207 and 15288 196

14.6 Industry Frameworks 196

14.6.1 ISACA Cobit 197

14.6.2 CMM/CMMI 207

14.6.3 itSMF’s ITIL Framework 208

14.6.4 SWEBOK 214

14.6.5 Open Unified Process (OpenUP) 215

14.6.6 Agile/SCRUM 216

Conclusion 217

Index 219

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