It would not be proper to print a Microsoft book on Software Configuration Management and not mention the Microsoft Solution Framework (MSF) that has been publicly available for years. The origin of this process came from the Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) group and is based on the terms and the way that Microsoft organizes its software development groups. The funny thing is that many people on the Microsoft product teams have never heard of MSF. They use the processes or know the terms, but they do not realize that Microsoft has been teaching this to customers for years.
That is a good example of how a documented process came from an informal undocumented process. Now the documented process (MSF) is the leader, and many new terms in the product teams come out of MSF. MSF will be included in the upcoming Visual Studio Team System. It's a great high-level view of how Microsoft runs its product teams. Because a ton of information about MSF is available on the Microsoft Developers Network (MSDN http://msdn.microsoft.com), I will show just one chart that sums up the whole process (see Figure 1.4).
Figure 1.4. MSF roles.
Figure 1.4 is self-explanatory. The point of the graphic is to show that there is not a hierarchical approach to shipping software at Microsoft, but a "round table" one. Ideally the Build Master would be King Arthur.