Software Change, Configuration and Release Management

Course 342 | 3 Days

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Software Change, Configuration and Release Management

You Will Learn How To:

  • Proactively manage the components of projects
  • Construct a Configuration Management (CM) plan for traditional and Agile projects
  • Choose hardware and software items to control through Configuration Identification
  • Manage requests by specifying Configuration Control procedures
Course participants simulating a baselining audit.

Workshop Activities Include:

  • Matching project needs to CM process capability
  • Coordinating check-in/check-out of CIs from/to the library
  • Designing a change control process
  • Identifying key reports needed for effective CM communications
  • Preparing a CM plan for a project
  • Baselining a product throughout the project

About This Course: This course covers configuration activities, such as configuration planning, change control and management, system building and version and release management. You learn how the application core processes of Software Control Management (SCM) contribute to the success of a software project.

NEW! FREE After-Course Instructor Coaching - available after May 1, 2014.
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  • Course Info

    Course 342 Content

    Configuration and Release Management

    Analyzing business factors driving CM

    • Determining causes of failure in project scenarios
    • Positioning strong internal CM controls
    • Controlling quality in the development life cycle
    • Releasing stable configurations

    Demystifying core CM processes

    • Configuration Identification
    • Version Management
    • Configuration Control
    • Change Management
    • Configuration Status Accounting
    • Reporting
    • Configuration Audits
    • Compliance
    • Build and Release Management

    Identifying Configuration Items (CIs)

    Deriving candidate items for the project

    • Extracting CIs from the product and the project
    • Itemizing six steps to bring a work product under configuration management control

    Categorizing and naming items

    • Devising an effective naming scheme
    • Classifying items based on the nature of the project
    • Aligning a CI into one of four categories

    Baselining CIs

    • Defining baselining procedures and creating a checklist
    • Declaring configuration or phase baselines
    • Checking CIs into a repository

    Controlling Change

    Determining roles and responsibilities

    • Establishing an infrastructure to manage project change
    • Comparing change control from a traditional to an Agile perspective
    • Specifying the role of the SCM team

    Creating a change control process

    • Establishing change control procedures
    • Facilitating change from requirements through maintenance

    Distinguishing between defects and enhancements

    • Processing a change request
    • Investigating defects and deciding corrective action
    • Evaluating urgency
    • Determining severity
    • Prioritize

    Communicating Configuration Status

    Planning the reporting requirements

    • Identifying reports required in each phase of CM
    • Determining the communication needs of stakeholders
    • Improving processing by using a configuration database

    Matching reporting needs to development life cycle

    • Anticipating report types by role types
    • Planning what to collect in order to report
    • Adding CSA requirements to vendor contracts

    Auditing in Preparation for a Release

    Designing Configuration Audits

    • Distinguishing between QA and SCM activities
    • Clarifying types of SCM audits
    • Timing audits throughout the development life cycle
    • FCA and PCA checklists
    • Baseline and release audits

    Assessing release readiness

    • Ensuring the documentation matches the product
    • Verifying product configuration

    Building and Releasing the Product

    Ensuring consistency through the build process

    • Establishing independence by separating development from the build
    • Managing unique code lines and versions
    • Knowing why and when to branch and use variants

    Specifying the product release process

    • Planning a release strategy
    • Resources needed for a smooth release process
    • Matching process steps to release types
    • Positioning Quality Gates in the development life cycle
    • Timing the release appropriately

    Who Should Attend

    Configuration and release management professionals new to their position, software developers, hardware engineers, testers, project managers and anyone needing a solid foundation in monitoring and controlling a product during the development life cycle.

    Training Hours

    Standard class hours:
    9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

    Last day class hours:
    9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

    Free optional course exam:
    3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

    Each class day:
    Informal discussion with instructor about your projects or areas of special interest:
    4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

  • More Course Info

    What is this course about?

    Software configuration management (SCM) is a process for facilitating and controlling changes to software products within an organization. This course covers configuration activities such as: configuration planning, change control and management, system building, and version and release management. You learn how the application core processes of SCM contribute to the success of a software project. A software and hardware prototype is used in the case study throughout the course, allowing the concepts of SCM to be applied during workshops and activities.

    What background do I need?

    No particular programming language or specific software expertise is assumed. Familiarity with a software development life cycle is helpful.

    Who will benefit from this course?

    The course is valuable to software development and maintenance personnel coding or designing systems, systems administrators and those leading software-intensive activities such as business analysts, project leaders and configuration managers. Anyone involved with software development, integration, maintenance, operations, testing, quality assurance or process improvement benefits from this course.

    Does my whole development team need to attend?

    While beneficial to entire development teams, providing a foundation for representatives of each group would be a good starting point. It is also not necessary that the entire development team attend at the same time, and onsite options for your company are also available. Please ask your Sales representative if onsite is something of interest to you.

    Is the course linked to a specific CM approach, programming language or operating system?

    No. The practical techniques that the course advocates are applicable to mainframes, servers, workstations and personal computers across the spectrum of operating systems.

    Is the course relevant for all types of programming teams?

    Yes. This course is beneficial to one person teams as well as teams with large co-located groups as well as geographically dispersed groups. The course approaches the software development life cycle by considering phases in development, not by aligning with one approach or another. SCM applies at the SDLC phase, regardless of the type, size, language, or budget of a programming project.

    Are SCM techniques effective for projects of varying sizes and complexity?

    Software expected to have long operational life needs to be maintained and altered over time. It may need to be distributed to multiple locations or modified to run on a different platform. Software in fast-changing Web applications with aggressive, market-drive deadlines also need to be controlled. The control mechanisms built into the software configuration management process ensure that these challenges are understood, controlled and supported. SCM concepts can be applied to any project, regardless of size and complexity.

    Are there software packages useful for configuration management? If so, will they be demonstrated during the course?

    Yes. The course focuses on the principles and application of SCM processes, taking a tool-independent approach. When you return to your work environment, the SCM principles built into the various tools of the industry will be evident and will then be able to be properly used according to the software vendor's implementation.

    How much time is spent on each topic?

    Foundation for configuration and release management3.0
    Identifying Configuration Items (CIs)3.0
    Controlling change3.0
    Communicating configuration status2.0
    Auditing in preparation for a release2.0
    Deciding on a build strategy2.0
    Developing a release strategy2.0

    Times, including the workshops, are estimates; exact times may vary according to the needs of each class.

    How much time does the course spend in activities?

    Approximately 40 percent of this course is spent in activities. Throughout the course, an interactive and evolving case study immerses you in the SDLC of a project from inception to product release. Working in small groups, you employ both PC-based and paper tools to gain first-hand knowledge and experience in all SCM processes and tasks. Activities include:

    • Matching software project needs to SCM process capability
    • Gathering the attributes and characteristics to create a Configuration Item list
    • Designing a change control process that accommodates change requests and problem reports
    • Creating a design baseline
    • Identifying key reports needed for effective SCM communications

    How does this course relate to other Learning Tree courses?

    This SCM course works well in conjunction with any Learning Tree course that employs the software development life cycle, in particular those courses within the Software Engineering Curriculum, including:

  • Certification/Credits

    Many Learning Tree courses provide college credit and industry continuing education credits. You can also earn a Learning Tree Professional Certification in your area of expertise and prepare for popular industry certifications. See below for continuing professional development credits associated with this course.

    College Credit – 1 Semester Hours This course qualifies for 1 semester hour of college credit as certified by the American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT). Read More...
    CPE 17 CreditsThis course qualifies for 17 CPE credits from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy CPE program. Read More...
    PMI 17 PDUThis course is approved by PMI® for 17 professional development units (PDUs). For more on the Project Management Institute and a full list of courses approved for PDUs. Read More...
  • Tuition

    3-Day TuitionNew AttendeeReturning AttendeeNotes
    Commercial $2,490$2,240

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    Tuition payment is not required at time of enrollment.

    Government $2,213$1,992

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"My experience was nothing less than excellent. The software engineering course added significantly to my knowledge and gave me many helpful ideas—which I could implement as soon as I returned to my job!"

– N. Gasowski
Senior QA Engineer
Level Four Software, Ltd.