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Fundamentals of Configuration Management

1-Day Course

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Summary

This one-day workshop presents the fundamentals of configuration management: where configuration information comes from, how to develop a management view of a system, how to address the key issues in configuration control and how to tailor CM processes to a development program. It focuses on the practical and includes several exercises during the day to practice the techniques taught in the class.
Configuration Management has been a crucial aspect of managing system viability since the birth of the systems engineering and systems management professions in the mid-20th century, when it played a crucial role in the success of the Apollo program. This course provides both lecture and practical work on the use of configurations to maintain the integrity and viability of a system.

  • The four elements of CM
  • Five common baselining strategies
  • How to maintain practical configuration control
  • How to choose among CM tools
  • How to tailor CM to a program
    • Participants in this workshop practice CM techniques on realistic project examples.

  1. Configuration Management Overview – What are the consequences of effective vs. ineffective configuration control? What is configuration management and how does it complement systems engineering, systems management, and sustainment? How do configuration management activities fit into a program lifecycle?

  2. Configuration Identification – What is a configuration? What is the process for developing the management view of a system? What is a baseline? What are the major alternatives in baselining strategies? What are the differences in configuration identification and representation for hardware, software and documents?

  3. Configuration Control – What are the key principles of configuration control? What are the standard configuration control processes? What are the major choices when organizing configuration control activities? What kinds of decisions are made during configuration control and how are those decisions structured? What are the roles filled by organizations and individuals during configuration control? What are the benefits and challenges of using an online configuration control board? What are the common differences in configuration control techniques for hardware, software and documents?

  4. Configuration Status Accounting– What kind of data is stored in a configuration status accounting system? What are the key choices in organizing a configuration status accounting system? What are the benefits of using an Integrated Digital Environment to host a Configuration Status Accounting System? What aspects of integration are important for implementing a CSA system in a digital environment?

  5. Designing Tests and Evaluations (3:30) – The test procedure as a control for each verification event. Effective topics to include in a test procedure, as an outline for developing the test. Identifying the issues and goals in each verification event. Determining the requirements to include, and what not to include. “Black box” input/output analysis, choosing what to measure, and identification of observability issues. Affecting the product/system design to improve testability. Logical sequencing of the test procedure based on product/system states, input controls, and observable measurements. Review of probability and statistics principles including probability distributions. Analyzing expected variation in test data, statistical design of tests, sampling principles, selecting useful statistical methods, design of experiments, common statistical errors.

  6. Configuration Verification and Audit – Why is it necessary to verify configurations? How are audits used? What are the types of configuration audits and when are they employed?

  7. CM Planning and Tailoring – What are the key issues in CM planning and how are they addressed? How is configuration management tailored to support projects that use varying development models, such as waterfall, incremental development, spiral, RUP, and agile? What are the practical consequences of policies such as COTS preference and performance based acquisition for configuration management practice? What are the roles of client, systems integrator, and subcontractor for performing CM in the development of a major system?

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Instructors

Dr. Eric Honour, CSEPDr. Eric Honour, CSEP, international consultant and lecturer, has a 40-year career of complex systems development & operation. Former President of INCOSE, selected as Fellow and as Founder. He has led the development of 18 major systems, including the Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation systems and the Battle Group Passive Horizon Extension System. BSSE (Systems Engineering), US Naval Academy; MSEE, Naval Postgraduate School; and PhD, University of South Australia.





Dr. Scott WorkingerDr. Scott Workinger has led innovative technology development efforts in complex, risk-laden environments for 30 years in the fields of manufacturing (automotive, glass, optical fiber), engineering and construction (nuclear, pulp & paper), and information technology (expert systems, operations analysis, CAD, collaboration technology). He currently teaches courses on program management and engineering and consults on strategic management and technology issues. Scott has a B.S in Engineering Physics from Lehigh University, an M.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Arizona, and a Ph.D. in Civil and Environment Engineering from Stanford University.



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