Thursday, May 07, 2009

An Agile CM Manifesto: Lame Oxymoron or Long Overdue?

I submitted a proposal on this topic to the Agile2009 conference. The idea was to garner feedback as to whether or not there is a perceived need for Lean/Agile CM Manifesto (or "Declaration" of some sorts), which sort of presumes there is a legitimate place for something called Agile CM (or Lean CM).

The proposal was well received by its reviewers, but alas unlikely to make the final cut as pretty much nothing else submitted was about Agile CM (save for Andrew Clay Shafer's proposal about "Agile Infrastructure" CM) -- most agilists dont like the "CM" term, even tho Agile CM is all about about breaking the silos & walls between Development, CM, Operations & Support, to get continuous + collaborative (Lean) flow of change from development thru Deployment!

Here is the proposal (below)! What do you think about the basic question it would ask of its audience? Is there a legitimate need for a Lean/Agile CM Manifesto? If so, what do you think it should say?

Summary Description

Agile development, agile project management, agile management, agile testing, all thus far have grown sizeable communities founded by many respected experts in their field. Why is this not yet the case for agile configuration management? Is there simply no need? Is lean/agile CM an oxymoron? Or is it an idea whose time has come and is long overdue? This talk will explore common complaints and misunderstandings between agilists/developers and CM, define what lean/agile CM really means, and whether or not a corresponding “manifesto” for CM is warranted (and if so, what must it include).

Presentation Outline
Approx ~30min of presentation followed by discussion/dialogue with the audience on whether or not the world needs a Lean/Agile CM manifesto, and what it should say. The Outline follows:
  • What is CM? (its more than just integration/build and version-control)
  • Traditional CM definition and Lean/Agile perspectives on CM
  • What is “Agile CM”? (CM for Agile projects? Agility for CM? or both?)
  • Lean/Agile CM Planning?
  • Lean/Agile Change Control/Tracking?
  • Lean Configuration audits/reviews, and status accounting?
  • Lean Traceability? (everyone’s favorite)
  • Agile Version control and Lean branching
  • Agile integration & build (nested synchronization & harmonic cadences)
  • “Emergent CM Architecture” from “refactoring” to SCM patterns

Discussion Points:
  • Common agilist/developer complaints & misunderstanding about CM [interspersed with the presentation]
  • Common CM complaints about (agile) development [interspersed with the presentation]
  • Do we need a Lean/Agile CM manifesto? Why or why not? [at the end of the presentation]
  • What must this manifesto include? from whom? [at the end of the presentation]

Materials for the presentation will be distilled from the following sources where many of the points above have been presented or discussed in more detail. Each of the below will be distilled into no more than a single slide (with few exceptions):

For additional background, links to a veritable cornucopia of related articles may be found on the CMWiki-web at

Learning Outcomes:
  • Learn what Lean/Agile CM really means & implies
  • Common misunderstandings of agilists and developers about CM, and vice-versa
  • How to apply Lean thinking and Agile principles to more than just CI (CM planning, change-tracking, version-control, etc.)
  • Discover why there is (or is not) a need for a Lean/Agile CM “manifesto” or “declaration of interdependence”


Unknown said...

Sounds great!

Does this mean that you're going to tell the story in another format, on your blog or something?


Brad Appleton said...

Hi Frank!

Alas, I think not. I think my thoughts on what Agile CM is and is not have been blogged here and written in the CM Journal. All that was just background material.

The "real" story would have been the response from the Agile Gurus regarding their answers to the question being asked: "Is their a need for an Agile CM manifesto, and if so, what should it say?"