Saturday, May 12, 2007

Five R's of Agile SCM Baselines

Almost a year ago I posted an entry on the "5 C's of Agile SCM Codelines". This time I'm posting on the 5 R's of Agile SCM Baselines. I think these are as follows (note that most of these are not unique to Agile/Lean):
  • Repeatable -- The steps to create the corresponding Build (Configuration) from its sources should be repeatable: for any baselined configuration, I should be able to build it the same way, over and over again.

  • Reproducible -- The corresponding Build (Configuration) should be reproducible: for any baselined configuration, I should be able to reproduce it whenever desired.

  • Reportable -- The corresponding Build (Configuration) should be reportable: for any baselined configuration, I should be able to report all needed details about its content: what files & versions are in it, which changes/requests are in it, who made which change to what (& when), how it was built and with what tools & options, etc.

  • Releasable -- The corresponding Build (Configuration) should be releasable: if I have "baselined" it, then almost by definition, it means it should be of 'releasable quality' to the next downstream consumer. (This implies it should be correct + consistent + complete to the extent agreed upon with the its stakeholders.)

  • Repairable -- The corresponding Build (Configuration) should be readily repairable: if, for any reason, it is discovered to have some kind of problem, then I must be able to readily repair it either by retracting it and replacing it with it's predecessor, and/or by removing/repairing the offending content and releasing it as a new (corrected) baseline.

I use the term "reportable" instead of "traceable" here for two reasons: 1) 'traceable' doesn't begin with 'R', and 2) 'traceable' brings to mind many negative associations with manual tracing, rather than simply providing the necessary transparency and ability to trace (without necessarily implying doing all that tracing, much less doing it all manually).

Note also that "repairable" may not imply that the cost of repair is low. Ideally, the repair can be done as quickly as possible by the development organization, but getting it to the consumer(s) may be both costly and time-consuming. So, rather than "low cost", being "repairable" speaks more to maintainability, and the ability to quickly understand the system and what must be done to repair it. We want to repair it with minimal interruption of flow, and with a minimum amount of overhead.

Why is any of that particularly "agile"? Most of it isn't, but the 'take' on reportability certainly is, and the notion of "releasable" may seem agile to those who feel the codeline should (ideally) be in a readily releasable state. CMers would say that "releasability" was always part of what a baseline requires (and they'd be right).

What do you think? Did I miss any other important R's? Or should something else be used instead? Would an additional R-word or two not listed above help differentiate between "Agile" CM versus more traditional CM?

Here are all the other R-words I considered:
    Recoverable Reliable Reversible Retractable Retainable Realizable Relocatable Remediable Repealable Replicable Revocable Relapsable Rebuildable Recapturable Reconfigurable Reconstitutable Reconstructible Recordable Recyclable Referable Retrievable Reusable Restorable Renewable Replaceable Representable Respectable Responsible Removable Reachable Readable Receivable Reclaimable Recognizable Recommendable Reconcilable Recreatable Remissible Rectifiable Recuperable Redeemable Reducible
If anyone cares, I looked it up at searching for "r*ble"

No comments: