Practical adaptation of configuration management: Three case studies: Licentiate thesis

    Research output: ThesisLicenciateTheses

    Abstract

    This research studies the adaptation of configuration management. Configuration management (CM) is a support process for product development and it operates in the context of the development project. Several factors, such as the size of the project, distribution, development disciplines, etc. affect the project's CM solution. Nowadays, CM practices inside a project have become an industrial de-facto standard, but the complexity emerges from the modern operational environment of product development. Globalisation, outsourcing, product variation and the amount of SW in modern products have characterized the modern product development. This trend has also affected the CM practices, which need to face these new challenges. This study defines the initial framework of factors that affect the CM solution. These factors represent the project characteristics that the CM adaptation needs to solve when planning the CM solution for a project. Even though separate factors can be identified, they coexist and therefore the planning of CM has to take these factors into account singly and together. The framework of factors has been used to characterise three CM adaptation case studies. The case studies represent the two ends of the project types. Case 1 represents a large multisite development project, while cases 2 and 3 represent small SW development projects. The CM practices are considered based on factors in each case and the results are discussed. Furthermore, a cross-case analysis has been carried out to detect and discuss similarities and differences between the cases. The results indicate that the plan-based CM worked well and provided mechanisms for identifying CM solutions that suited the project context despite of the project size, although the formality and complexity of the CM solutions varied. Good communication between the product development teams as early as during the CM planning phase was found essential to ensure consistent CM practices. The study also revealed that inside a project, the CM practices are usually fairly well realised, but the complexity and challenges of CM come from the size of the project (large), work distribution (project hierarchy, multisite development, dependence on third party software) and development disciplines (HW/SW). Especially, the management of interfaces was found crucial in complex development environment. Without strict practices unmanaged interfaces can cause difficult problems in the integration phase.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationLicentiate Degree
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Oulu
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Saukkonen, Samuli, Supervisor, External person
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    Publisher
    Print ISBNs951-38-6842-7
    Electronic ISBNs951-38-6843-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2006
    MoE publication typeG3 Licentiate thesis

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    Keywords

    • software engineering
    • software configuration management
    • configuration management
    • embedded systems
    • agile methods

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