Mittwoch, 6. August 2008
Do you control what you own?
In the past I have written about some litmus tests of software configuration management. Here is another one.

Does the owner of your application know where the source is stored in the configuration management system? If he knows it, how can he get access to the source without asking anybody from the development team for help?

If you have answered both questions with yes.

Five to ten years ago most companies would have succeeded in this simple test. Nowadays quite a lot fail. This has a simple reason in the increasing number of outsourcing. Development is nowadays outsourced. The discussion, if outsourcing is good or bad, is interesting, but it does not really matter as it is often reality nowadays.
You, pay good money for the hopefully good software which you get in return. You own it. You should manage it similar to all the other assets which you own. As a comparison, I expect your company knows where each of it company cars is. (And cars are normally cheaper than good software).

Why the second question? The owner of the application may want to be able to do an external review, fire or terminate the existing outsourcing contract. Or the outsourcing partner does go out of business for some reason. There are many other reasons why there might arise a need to get access (at least reading) to the owned sources.
In any case he should be able to access his own property.

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