Configuration management – help with controlling changes.

Configuration Management addresses the need for establishing a methodology to control the various elements of the change and validation processes. The general definition of Configuration Management is “a process that accommodates changes and perpetually documents how a physical system is configured, i.e. form, fit, function, cost and with emphasis on life/safety. It had its beginnings in the defense, air, and space industries to help assure weapons and aircraft safety, and then moved into the nuclear industry schedule.” The discipline of Configuration Management has been around for years, initially for the same reasons. More recently, the process has found its way into the computer industry where changes in computer code can have significant unforeseen consequences on the functioning of information systems and software. We are now seeing the Configuration Management process advancing into applications on projects assumed to have a greater degree of uncertainty or risk. Today on large construction projects, Configuration Management is being used to help Project Managers control the impact that changes can have on the project’s cost, schedule, and quality. It is used both in the design and construction stages to control and document the contract baseline drawings and specifications, and changes against those baseline documents. This paper discusses how Configuration Management has been, and is being used by Project Managers for early identification of design and construction changes, to forecast the impact of those changes on the outcome of the project, to record the chronology of events and issues surrounding these changes (audit trail), and to support the fast-tracking design/build/operate/maintain (DBOM) method for delivering a large project.

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http://www.pmi.org/learning/library/configuration-management-help-controlling-changes-7842