I am fairly new to SQL Server and originally struggled with the manual approach but now adopt the following approach which seems to work very well for me.
I have a Business Testing environment where I simply restore the Production environment.
I then document the following so that it can be easily replicated during the Production Close.
I then use Redgate SQL Compare to update this enviroment with the changes in the Development environment. I of course scrutinise the changes carefully.
I use Redgate SQL Data Compare to update reference data tables where fields have been added.
And DTS Backup 2000 to copy all the DTS Packages.
Following Business Testing I adopt the same approach to update Production.
I save the reports and scripts created by Redgate. And back up the original DTS packages before deleting and overwriting them.