Changing fortunes for SCM
July 1, 2010 —
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However, Jeff Amfahr, director of product management for ALM vendor Seapine, disagreed with these predictions. “Companies are less inclined to spend time integrating various tools together to build an ad hoc ALM solution, including SCM, when they can deploy an end-to-end ALM solution that ships pre-integrated with readily available training and customer support,” he said.
Others expect the seamless integration of SCM into the agile-application life cycle, in part due to the need for version control during each step of software development as well as the need for tighter integration of developmental and operational tasks.
Because agile techniques such as Scrum and XP (as well as lean methodologies) are becoming more popular and implemented more widely, some have predicted an evolution of the SCM tool. “SCM is evolving from being a ‘control tool’ to becoming a facilitator for collaboration,” said Mike Shepherd, senior technical consultant with SCM vendor PureCM.
“This development is driven by agile becoming more and more popular with its call for tighter collaboration between traditionally separated roles,” he said, adding that SCM tools need to reflect this trend as well as provide teams with relevant information and visibility across the development life cycle.
Seapine’s Amfahr agreed. “As companies look at faster process cycles using agile approaches, the ability to link SCM solutions with other development and QA activities becomes even more critical,” he said. “The feedback and learning loop that is such a critical part of things like Scrum and lean requires you to have all the data, so your SCM solution can’t just be part of the background anymore.”
Although implementation of agile techniques has certainly expanded the demand for SCM, others see the need for integration of the tool within the application life cycle a little differently. Matt Klassen, strategic solutions manager of ALM vendor MKS, said, “The future of SCM will be driven by the fundamental paradigm shift from file-based systems managing pieces of code to a more abstracted software assets model,” including version control for a requirement, feature or test plan.