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August 1, 1996
"Best Practice for a Configuration Management (CM) Solution"
Susan Dart, Dart Technology Strategies, Inc.

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Best Practice for a Configuration Management (CM) Solution

This presentation discusses best practice in attaining a CM solution. It is based on many experiences with organizations introducing a new, automated CM solution.

Some buyers of CM tools assume that installing a new tool will automatically solve their CM problems. However, this "silver bullet" expectation is not met without some effort from the organization since there is more to attaining a good CM solution than merely buying and installing the tool.

It turns out that the best solution is a combination of having the most suitable CM technology, sensible deployment strategies, a culture that is amenable to change and growth, and people that are knowledgeable about CM activities. While this isn't earthshaking news, few organizations achieve a good CM solution simply because they don't know how to or they aren't willing to make the necessary resource commitments. Yet, each organization should be able to succeed by following some sensible approaches. Understanding best practice is vital for organizations considering a better CM solution. It allows leveraging from previous experiences so one can more easily, effectively, and painlessly attain their corporate CM goals. The best practices presented during this presentation are designed to help organizations avoid typical pitfalls in the procurement, evaluation, strategic planning and deployment of CM tools.

Susan Dart

Susan Dart is President and CEO of Dart Technology Strategies, Inc., a consulting firm that helps organizations achieve process improvement via the adoption of technology, with a specialization in CM. Ms. Dart has 20 years of experience in industry and academia, focusing on software tools and software development environments. She has over 35 international publications and also participates on the United States' Federal Aviation Authority panel on developing CM for Explosives Detection Systems at airports. Ms. Dart has also been Vice President of Process Technology at Continuus Software Corporation and has spent seven years at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) where she earned an international reputation in the CM field.

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