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1.5 Status Reporting

Status reporting makes available, in a useful and readable way, the information necessary to effectively manage a product's development and maintenance. Other activity areas in configuration management deliver the data foundation for status reporting, in the form of metadata and change control data. Status reporting entails extraction, arrangement, and formation of these data according to demand. Figure 1–11 shows how status reporting is influenced by its surroundings.

Figure 1-11 Figure 1–11 Status Reporting in Context

Inputs

Status reporting can take place at any time.

Outputs

The result of status reporting is the generation of status report(s). Each company must define the reports it should be possible to produce. This may be a release note, an item list (by status, history, or composition), or a trace matrix. It should also be possible to extract ad hoc information on the basis of a search in the available data.

Process Descriptions

The methods, conventions, and procedures necessary for the activities in status re-porting may be

  • Procedure(s) for the production of available status reports

  • Procedure(s) for ad hoc extraction of information

  • Templates for status reports that the configuration management system should be able to produce

Roles

The librarian is responsible for ensuring that data for and information in status reports are correct, even when reporting is fully automated. Users themselves should be able to extract as many status reports as possible. Still, it may be necessary to involve a librarian, especially if metadata and change data are spread over different media.

Connection with Other Activities

Status reporting depends on correct and sufficient data from other activity areas in configuration management. It's important to understand what information should be available in status reports, so it can be specified early on. It may be too late to get information in a status report if the information was requested late in the project and wasn't collected. Status reports from the configuration management system can be used within almost all process areas in a company. They may be an excellent source of metrics for other process areas, such as helping to identify which items have had most changes made to them, so these items can be the target of further testing or redesign.

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