Program Management

Configuration Management


The Program Manager (PM) is responsible for Configuration Management (CM) on their project or program. CM is the application of sound program practices to establish and maintain consistency of a product’s or system’s attributes with its requirements and evolving technical baseline over its life. It involves interaction among government and contractor program functions such as systems engineering, hardware/software engineering, specialty engineering, logistics, contracting, and production in an integrated product team (IPT) environment. The program manager should use configuration management to establish and mature the technical, functional and acquisition program baseline throughout the acquisition and system life cycle. [1]


The Program Manager shall assume control of the initial product baseline at the Critical Design Review (CDR) for all Class 1 configuration changes.


CM was first developed by the United States Air Force for the Department of Defense in the 1950s as a technical management discipline of hardware. The concepts of this discipline have been widely adopted by numerous technical management functions, including Systems Engineering (SE), Integrated Logistics Support (ILS), Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), ISO 9000, Prince2 project management methodology, COBIT, Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), product lifecycle management, and application lifecycle management. [1]


CM activities include:

  • Identifying, defining, and baselining configuration items
  • Controlling modifications and releases of configuration items
  • Reporting and recording status of configuration items and any requested modifications
  • Ensuring completeness, consistency, and correctness of configuration items
  • Controlling storage, handling, and delivery of the configuration


Effective CM provides the following essential benefits to a project:

  • Reduces confusion and establishes order
  • Organizes the activities necessary to maintain product integrity
  • Ensures correct product configurations
  • Limits legal liability by providing a record of actions
  • Reduces lifecycle costs
  • Enables consistent conformance with requirements
  • Enhances compliance with standards

DoD Configuration Management Process Model Overview


AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 6/12/2018

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