Schema Differencing - How Are You All Coping??

We have globally deployed both OPM and OPPID, and currently are struggling now with the most-recent updates to the SS5 series because there are backbone schema updates that have occurred.  We have a global dataset which we have deployed for our projects, thus allowing us to make singular updates to apply to the breadth of our projects.  With the current OPM refresh update, there is a great fix with respect to Consistency Checker, but to get that fix we need to upgrade our schemas to account for any additions / alterations made over the past 18 months.  THEN, once we've upgraded the schemas, we need to either update our dataset and see if it works for both old and new projects, or create a new version of the dataset just for new projects, etc.

OPPID is even more challenging because we have active projects dating back to 2010, using SS3, SS4, SS5, and now SS5 refresh 1, and also SS5 refresh 2.  We grew accustom to the schema changes across major SS versions, but now there are updates within the refreshes.  Deployment is a nightmare for OPPID not only for new project setups but for the ability to potentially leverage content across projects which carry similar data requirements.

Has anyone else experienced these schema update challenges?  Schema Differencing is a "treat"...any ideas on a potential EASY button?  Is it possible for updates to simply have new supplemental schemas with updates thus not requiring updates to base schema files?  (I know some changes cannot be made without modifying the base, but maybe updates of that nature should be restricted to major releases)?

Not sure there is a point to this posting, but I hope it generates some virtual discussion...

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