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Resource Index > Technical Work > Configuration Management

Configuration Management

One of the challenges of high-technology product development is to ensure that the product being manufactured is identical to the product that was designed, reviewed, tested, and validated. Documentation must be absolutely accurate and deterministic. Product manufactured by different personnel on different days or by different manufacturing facilities must be identical in form, fit, and function. And as models and versions change, the documentation must change with them. As those different models and versions proliferate in the field, the manufacturer should be able to reproduce the exact design documentation of any model and version for maintenance and servicing -- this is a requirement for products manufactured under ISO 9000 standards, European CE mark, and numerous regulated industries such as medical devices and aviation. These resources will help you manage, validate, and control your configuration documentation.

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Examples of Configuration Management Documents and Systems
Although physical prototypes and functioning systems are often built during the engineering process, the true output of an engineering effort is "paper": drawings, code listings, specifications, process instructions, and other documents that define the "form, fit, and function" of a product or system. In most cases, this documentation must be able to stand alone: It must provide complete manufacturing, installation, and servicing instructions without any supplementary information.

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  • Which Rev 2 Are We Building?
    This amusing and all-too-believable story recounts how one telecommunications project team did everything right ... according to two different, conflicting, sets of documentation.
  • Software Requirements Management: Not Just for Big Companies
    Is all that software requirements process stuff just a bunch of time-wasting overhead imposed by big companies on their engineers or forced on companies by government contracting agencies? Not really. Veteran software executive Anita Wotiz shares her experience shattering all of these myths by successfully implementing software requirements management with full buy-in ... and "on the cheap."
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Guidelines and Suggestions for Reliable Configuration Management Systems
Configuration management (CM) systems can range from a drawing drawer and file cabinet, to a modest file version control system or a monstrous array of CD-ROM jukeboxes holding hundreds of terabytes of drawing images and documents. The resources collected here will help you design the best system for your needs and environment.

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  • Software Requirements Specification
    Based on an IEEE standard, this template contains sections for software functionality, as well as sections for important software attributes and interface definitions. It also contains an overview section that summarizes important items about the software in a way that is especially effective for non-Development project stakeholders.
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Typical Configuration Management Issues and Answers to Common Questions
It can be challenging to strike a balance between reliable configuration management and death-by-paperwork. These resources will help you maintain a sane and stable system, decide when to move from informal to formal design controls, control volatile designs or environments, and so on.

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  • Tracking Change: Identification & Categorization - Part I
    While it may not seem important initially to know why the client requested significant changes to the project, since the schedule and cost plans have been adjusted, these changes, regardless of origin, are symptomatic of a larger issue.
  • Tracking Change: Identification and Categorization - Part 2
    There are numerous things we can do to help mitigate change and effectively respond to change that does occur. The bullets below outline how we can accomplish this, meet the customer?s needs the first time, and in turn help better manage our projects, clients and team.
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