Agility and Software Configuration Management - the ASCM project

Software Configuration Management (SCM) is an essential part of any software project and its importance is even greater on Agile projects because of the frequency of changes.
We argue that SCM needs to be done differently and also cover more aspects on Agile projects. We believe that there are general SCM guidelines that can support and strengthen typical Agile activities, but there are also requirements that an agile method must satisfy to benefit the most from SCM.

Since 2001 we have been interested in and researching the connections and releations between agile development methods and software configuration management.

This interest first grew out of a new course/project that was to start and where our students had to follow eXtreme Programming as development method (the general setup of and experience with this course/project is described in this paper). We knew that our students had to use configuration management to survive on their project, but we could not find any literature that explained what, why and how they should do configuration management on an XP project.

In the beginning our research was very much focused on finding and teaching a minimal set of configuration management process suited for XP projects. Later on we broadened our interest to agile methods in general and to the effect agile thinking and philosophy has on the way configuration management is (has to be) done.

We have been fortunate to have each year ~10 student XP projects where we can carry out experiments and measure results. The projects are set up to be as close to "real life" as possible - yet being carried out by second-year students.

The results and experience from this have resulted in the following publications:

The students on the XP projects are pair-coached by older students, who are following a special Coaching course. As part of this coaching course, they have to make an in-depth study and write a short report on an aspect of XP, where they study literature and use the groups as study obejcts.

The following in-depth studies are related to software configuration management:

Brad Appleton, Steve Berczuk and Robert Cowham (and previously also Steve Konieczka) have published several columns on agility and software configuration management in the Configuration Management Journal.

Brad Appleton has also started a collection of: Agile SCM articles.

Furthermore, we find the following resources interesting (if there is something you believe should be on the list, then

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