In most environment, using a simple change set to move changes works just fine. Sure, adding components to the change set can be a bit tedious when you have to page through several screens to find the right custom field. And waiting 5 minutes for the change set to become available to deploy can be irritating when you’re trying to make it to your next meeting. But change sets are familiar to admins and trying to force a developer style process usually ends up causing more issues than it solves.
In this video I walk through a compromise between using change sets and using metadata api pushes.