The Configuration Management process area involves the following activities:
- Identifying the configuration of selected work products that compose baselines at given points in time
- Controlling changes to configuration items
- Building or providing specifications to build work products from the configuration management system
- Maintaining the integrity of baselines
- Providing accurate status and current configuration data to developers, end users, and customers
The work products placed under configuration management include the products that are delivered to the customer, designated internal work products, acquired products, tools, and other items used in creating and describing these work products. (See the definition of “configuration management” in the glossary.) Acquired products may need to be placed under configuration management by both the supplier and the acquirer. Provisions for conducting configuration management should be established in supplier agreements. Methods to ensure that data are complete and consistent should be established and maintained. The configuration management approach depends on acquisition factors such as acquisition approach, number of suppliers, design responsibility, support concept, and associated costs and risks. In any case, configuration management involves interaction between the acquirer and supplier. Planning for managing configuration items, including during the transition to operations and support, is addressed as part of project planning and supplier agreement development to avoid unexpected costs for both the acquirer and supplier. Project plans and supplier agreements should make provisions for managing configuration items in and across project teams and the infrastructure required to manage configuration items among the acquirer, supplier, operational users, and other relevant stakeholders.
For example, there are shared responsibilities between the acquirer and supplier for the technical solution. The acquirer maintains configuration control of the contractual requirements and the supplier performs configuration management for the technical solution (e.g., establish and maintain the product baseline). In this example, the acquirer retains the authority and responsibility for approving design changes that affect the product’s ability to meet contractual requirements. The supplier manages other design changes. The acquirer maintains the right to access configuration data at any level required to implement planned or potential design changes and support options. Configuration management of legacy systems should be addressed on a case-by-case basis as design changes are contemplated.
Examples of work products that can be placed under configuration management include the following:
- Hardware and equipment
- Acquisition strategies
- Solicitation packages
- Supplier agreements
- Supplier deliverables
- Process descriptions
- Tool configurations
Configuration management of work products can be performed at several levels of granularity. Configuration items can be decomposed into configuration components and configuration units. Only the term “configuration item” is used in this process area. Therefore, in these practices, “configuration item” may be interpreted as “configuration component” or “configuration unit” as appropriate. (See the definition of “configuration item” in the glossary.) Baselines provide a stable basis for the continuing evolution of configuration items.
An example of an acquirer’s baseline is a collection of acquirer work products such as contractual requirements and acceptance criteria that are related to the product baseline managed by the supplier.
Baselines are added to the configuration management system as they are developed. Changes to baselines and the release of work products built from the configuration management system are systematically controlled and monitored via the configuration control, change management, and configuration auditing functions of configuration management. This process area applies not only to configuration management on projects but also to configuration management of organizational work products such as standards, procedures, reuse libraries, and other shared supporting assets. Configuration management is focused on the rigorous control of the managerial and technical aspects of work products, including the delivered product or service. This process area covers the practices for performing the configuration management function and is applicable to all work products that are placed under configuration management. For acquisition of product lines and standard services, configuration management can involve additional considerations due to the sharing of core assets across acquisitions (and perhaps organizations) and across multiple versions of core assets. In such a case, the configuration management approach and specific responsibilities should be specified in supplier and customer agreements. (See the definition of “product line” in the glossary.)