Configuration Management (CM) is an important process area at CMMI Maturity Level 2. Different CMMI Consultant or CMMI Consultants interpret CM in one way or the other. I remember one CMMI Consultant had made it so very complicated that the implementing organization was running around in circles. Whereas, many CMMI Consultants take a practical view and really do an excellent job of it. Lately, application of the CM tools have made the life easier for all the organizations implementing CM.
The purpose of CM is to establish and maintain the integrity (accurate, complete, and protected from unauthorized modification) of work products. Configuration management involves identification of CIs (configuration items), control of CIs, status accounting, and conducting audits for configuration.
How to conduct Configuration Management in an organization
Configuration Management involves following steps:
- Identify Configuration Items. First step is to identify the items (known as Configuration Items) that are going to be maintained for their configurations. Some examples could be documentation (process and project related), source code, tools (like SVN, VSS, CVS etc.), equipments.
- Establish a System for Configuration Management. Next step is to establish a system that will be used for controlling work products. This includes the process for change requests, tools, storage media, access rights etc.
- Create or Release Baselines. In this step baseline versions are created for internal use or for delivery to customer. This involves versioning of the Items into major or minor versions. Before releasing every baseline version is peer reviewed and if issue is found it gets closed.
- Track Change Requests. Once items are baseline, they can not be changed directly and need to follow a change management procedure. This involves the formal change request, change logging, change impact analysis, categorising and prioritizing the change, implementing changes, review of changes, tracking changes till they are closed.
- Main inventory of Configuration Items. This step involves preparing inventory of the Configuration Items with details of changes done in each version.
- Maintain Records of Configuration Management activities. Organization shall maintain all records related to the configuration management including changer request forms, change log, change impact analysis, change review records, inventory of baselines etc.
- Conduct Configuration Audits. Configuration audits are conducted to maintain the integrity of configuration baselines. Quality Person or the dedicated Configuration Controller performs configuration audits for the baselines created in a period in order to review their structure, completeness, accuracy, correctness. Issues found in the audit are closed.
Benefits of Configuration Management
- Helps in creating and maintaining up-to-date record of artefacts
- Helps in maintaining Hardware, Software and Equipments configurations Improved visibility and tracking into artefacts inventory and other items
- Improved asset maintenance through the ability to better utilize proactive, preventative, and predictive measures
- Helps in maintaining the records of changes to documentation, hardware, software, firmware, testing procedures, etc.
- Auditing ensure the integrity of the documentation, hardware, software, firmware, testing procedures, etc.
Source: CMMI-DEV Model, CMMI Institute.
Interpretation by the author.
Let experts guide you for an effective Configuration Management System
DQS India, CMMI Authorised Partner, provides Configuration Management training for better management of CM activities in your organization. Training provides best practices to be followed while conducting CM activities in the organization, including selection of CM Tool, Change Log, Change Impact Analysis, Base-lining, Versioning, storage of Configuration Items.
We also help in establishing the organizational repository for CM Data, so that future projects and organizational can use them.
Training is delivered through highly qualified and experienced CMMI Consultants, who has multi-years of experience in CMMI and other Quality Management Systems.