A Configuration Management Plan (CMP) details the methodology that the Program Manager (PM) and systems engineer will be used to control program documentation and the program baseline (Technical, Functional, and Allocated). It’s used as a tool on a project or program that defines, documents, controls, instructs, implements, and manages changes to various components throughout a project. Configuration planning is a part of the CM Plan that shows how and where configuration management activities fit into the company and its processes.
Definition: A Configuration Management Plan is a management tool that defines, documents, controls, instructs, implements, and manages changes to various components throughout a project.
What is Configuration Management (CM)
Configuration Management (CM) applies 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.
Objectives of a Configuration Management Plan (CMP)
The overall objective of the Configuration Management Plan is to document and inform project stakeholders about Configuration Management (CM) within a project, what CM tools will be used, and how the project will apply them.
Purpose of a Configuration Management Plan (CMP)
The purpose of a Configuration Management Plan is to define a project’s structure and methods for:
- Identifying, defining, and baselining configuration items (CI)
- Controlling modifications and releases of CIs
- Reporting and recording the status of CIs and any requested modifications
- Ensuring completeness, consistency, and correctness of CIs
- Controlling storage, handling, and delivery of the CIs
Developing the Configuration Management Plan (CMP)
You must make a Configuration Management Plan (CMP) for effective project and product management. The CMP outlines the steps and rules for controlling and handling configuration items throughout their lifecycle. Use the templates provided or the outline below to start the development of a CMP. The template and outline should ensure the plan includes finding setup items, keeping track of versions, managing changes, and writing them down. It will also have roles and responsibilities, describe the configuration management process, and ensure that project outputs are consistent and correct. The CMP should also talk about configuration checks, baselines, and how to use tools for managing configuration.
Configuration Management Plan (CMP) Template
The template below is the best place to start when developing your project or organization configuration Management plan. The template covers the main topics that must be addressed in the plan and is easily adaptable for new topics of interest.
Template: Configuration Management Plan (CMP)
Sample Configuration Management Plan (CMP) Outline
- Document Overview
- SYSTEM OVERVIEW
- CONFIGURATION MANAGEMENT COMPONENTS
- Organizations and Responsibilities
- Configuration Identification
- Configuration Change Control
- Configuration Status Accounting
- Configuration Reviews
- CONFIGURATION MANAGEMENT PROCESS
- Process Overview
- Modeling and Testing
- NEXT STEPS
- Plan CM Implementation
- Establish CM Folders
- Identify CM Tools
- Establish Change Control Board
- APPENDIX A FORMS
- APPENDIX B CHARTER
- APPENDIX C REFERENCES
- APPENDIX D APPROVAL
Responsible for the Configuration Management Plan (CMP)
The Program Manager (PM) is responsible for developing and executing the Configuration Management Plan on their project or program. The program manager should use the Configuration Management Plan to control the technical, functional, and Acquisition Program Baseline throughout the acquisition and system life cycle.
10 Key Take Aways for Developing a Configuration Management Plan (CMP)
A project manager should remember a few important things when creating a project’s Configuration Management Plan (CMP). Here are some important facts:
- Scope and difficulty of the project: The project manager should know the project’s scope and complexity. This information helps decide how much configuration management is needed and which configuration management tasks should be part of the plan.
- Requirements of Stakeholders: The project manager should find and involve important stakeholders, such as customers, users, and members of the project team. Understanding their needs and goals for configuration management helps make sure that the CMP fits their needs and helps the project succeed.
- Configuration Items (CIs): CIs are the parts of a project that need to be controlled and handled throughout its lifecycle. The project manager should find and write down the CIs, including hardware, software, paperwork, etc. CIs must be correctly identified and put into groups for successful configuration management.
- Identifying the configuration: The project manager should set up processes for naming and identifying CIs uniquely. This includes giving setups version numbers, revision codes, or other ways to track and distinguish them. Changes in the setup can be tracked and controlled when there are clear ways to identify them.
- Change Management: The project manager should outline a change management method in the CMP. This process shows how changes to CIs will be asked for, looked at, accepted, put into place, and written down. It should have change control boards or groups that look at changes’ effects and risks and decide whether to approve them.
- Documentation of the configuration: The CMP should discuss about’ the documentation needs for CIs. It should say what documents need to be made, in what format, and with how much information. The project manager should ensure all documentation is up-to-date, controlled by versions, and easy for all parties to access.
- Configuration Audits: The CMP should have plans for configuration audits at different project steps. Audits ensure that the way CIs are set up matches the criteria and documentation. The project manager should plan and schedule these checks for quality and safety.
- Configuration Management Tools: The project manager should analyze and choose the right configuration management tools to help implement the CMP. These tools help keep track of setup changes, manage versions, and make it easier for team members to work together.
- Training and Communication: The project manager should think about teaching team members and stakeholders the CMP’s processes and rules for configuration management. The configuration management method is always followed when roles, responsibilities, and expectations are made clear.
- Continuous Improvement: The CMP should be seen as a living record that can be viewed and changed over time. The project manager should ask the project team and partners for feedback so they can find places to improve and use what they’ve learned from other projects.
A project manager can make a complete and successful Configuration Management Plan by thinking about these things. This plan ensures project setups are properly controlled, tracked, and managed. This leads to better quality, fewer risks, and better project results.
Configuration Management Plan (CMP) Updates
The CM Plan should be updated periodically to reflect changes in procedures, rules, regulations, and best practices to maintain proper Configuration Management practices.
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