The last Methods & Tools' poll examined how software configuration management (change management / version control) is performed by organisations. Is it an informal activity or performed with formal procedures that are validated by an automated tool?

Question: How is software configuration management (change management / version control) performed at your location?

No formal procedure and no tool 15%
A formal procedure but no tool. 10%
A tool but no formal procedure 26%
A formal procedure and a tool 49%

Participants: 346

As you can see a large majority of participants is using a tool, but the "managed" part of software configuration is less obvious if you consider the procedural part. Around 40% of participants have no formal procedure for software configuration. The need for a procedure depends on the size of the team and the impact of the developed system. You don't have the same requirements for medical device software than for a web site. The good results for the adoption of tools could also be explained by the good development and adoption of open source software configuration management tools like CVS or Subversion.

There are some participants that have neither tools nor formal procedures, but this number should be considered with care as smaller software development structure have different needs as far as code sharing or versioning is concerned.

Source: Methods and Tools,