Configuration Management for In-Service Engineering Agents

Course Length:



Today’s systems do not stand alone; each system fits within an increasingly complex system-of-systems, a network of interconnection that virtually guarantees surprise behavior. In addition, systems are acquired using COTS and streamlined, performance-based acquisition methods that virtually guarantee configuration problems. Yet this network of operational systems demands as never before that the system configurations be properly managed.

This two-day course is a comprehensive treatment of Configuration Management (CM) with multiple exercises to practice the learned methods using real-world, hands-on challenges. It is structured around the five essential CM processes of EIA-649B: For each process, there is full discussion of how that process interacts with system development, integration, test, operations, and support throughout the system life cycle, with an emphasis on the viewpoint of in-service engineering. Aspects and consequences of software and COTS usage are also emphasized, particularly in the area of change control during in-service engineering.

What you will learn:

  • Configuration Management and Planning
  • Configuration Identification
  • Configuration Change Control (w/ Baseline Management)
  • Configuration Status Accounting
  • Configuration Verification and Audit

Course Outline:

  1. Context of CM
    • Why CM is crucial to the success of a lifecycle program
    • CM in the context of the program lifecycle
    • The relationship of CM to other disciplines
    • CM issues with COTS; the control cycle from the viewpoint of the vendor
    • How CM changes in moving from development to in-service
    • Exercise #1: Examining CM Problems
    • Software CM and its special considerations
    • Commercial practices for software CM
    • Agile development and its impacts
    • Firmware CM strategies
    • Sound practices for software and firmware; pitfalls
  2. Planning a Well-Structured CM Program
    • Tailoring the CM requirements
    • The five core elements of CM
    • Level of detail required for CM
    • Special planning considerations for COTS
    • The relationship of Navy CM to COTS vendors and their systems
    • Special planning considerations for software and firmware
    • Considerations for software COTS
    • The relationship of CM to program management; the CM Plan; key program and CM milestones
  3. Configuration Identification
    • How CM fits into the development lifecycle
    • What is product information and what form does it take?
    • Selection of Configuration Items in a complex system
    • Exercise #2: Identifying CIs (Swiss Army Bicycle)
    • COTS configuration items; following the vendors while selecting for positive control
    • Identifying effective software CIs during a changing development environment
    • Firmware CIs in microcontrollers, ROMs, and FPGAs
    • Requirements allocation and the CM definition of system components
    • Nomenclature assignment; numbering of parts and documents
    • Nomenclature differences for ordnance vs. electronics
  4. Configuration Baseline Management
    • Purpose of a baseline; types of CM baselines
    • Contents of the different baselines, with lists of typical documents in each
    • How to control the changes of a baseline while maintaining an effective baseline
    • COTS baselines; how to maintain a baseline on a commercial item
    • Software baselines and change control; software libraries; dynamic change
    • Firmware baselines; forms of documentation
    • Requirements traceability as used in CM
  5. Configuration Change Control
    • Baseline change during operations and support; controlling a configuration while it changes; examples of changes
    • Engineering Change Proposals (ECPs) and the Form 1692 in depth; block by block directions on how to use the form and control ECPs
    • Controlling COTS change issues; vendor configuration changes (documented and undocumented); re-selection of COTS for replacement; re-procurement for ongoing supply
    • Software change in a dynamic environment; controlling the changes while allowing forward improvement of a system
    • Documentation of firmware changes
    • Configuration Control Boards; membership, roles, responsibilities
    • Class 1 and Class 2 Engineering Change Proposals (ECPs) and their different handling
    • The effect of ECPs and SCDs on the baselines
    • Exercise #3: Change Control (Gladiator Missile Program)
  6. Configuration Status Accounting
    • Why keep track of CM status? – purpose and benefits
    • Methods to track CM artifacts; flow of information
    • Exercise #4: CSA Metrics (Gladiator Missile Program)
    • COTS status accounting; tracking the vendor changes
    • Software and firmware status accounting
    • Principles for data integrity; types of data and best methods for each
    • Business rules to allow changing of the data
    • Version control in a complex system; proper application of the right version to the system
  7. Configuration Verification and Audit
    • Purpose and benefits of verification/audit
    • Functional Configuration Audits
    • Verification methods; source information; the Requirements Verification Matrix
    • Performance verification; design verification
    • Physical Configuration Audits
    • Ensuring compatibility between the system and the documentation
    • Verification and audit of COTS
    • Verification and audit of software and firmware
    • Certification against external standards
    • Internal and formal audits
  8. Policies and Issues in Acquisition that Influence CM Practice
    • Variations in Acquisition Program Development Lifecycle and Development Models
    • Waterfall
    • Incremental Development
    • Spiral Development
    • Government Cost Austerity and the Reduction in Total Ownership Cost
    • Systems of Systems
  9. Special Topics in CM
    • Special Issues in Differing Development Lifecycles
    • Open Systems
    • Online Configuration Control Boards
    • Review of ONE BOOK processes as an example of CM tailoring


If this course is not on the current schedule of open enrollment courses and you are interested in attending this or another course as an open enrollment, please contact us at (410)956-8805 or Please indicate the course name, number of students who wish to participate. and a preferred time frame. ATI typically schedules open enrollment courses with a 3-5 month lead time. For on-site pricing, you can use the request an on-site quote form, call us at (410)956-8805, or email us at


  • Dr. 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 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.

Request On-Site Quote