Software Configuration Management Standard

How to Write Software Configuration Management Plans

Author: David Tuffley
Pages: 23
Language: English
Publication date: 21/04/2011
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Plain English How To Guide based in large part on ANSI/IEEE 1042
Configuration management (CM) is the regulation of the way in which a software product evolves during the development and maintenance phases of the product lifecycle. It is the process by which the individual components of a software system are identified so that any changes to the configuration of these components can be systematically traced and therefore controlled throughout the complete span of the development cycle. CM thus forms the basis for product and project measurement.

This How To Guide is based in large part on ANSI/IEEE 1042.


This How To Guide describes the application of configuration management (CM) principles to the management of software development projects. CM consists of two major aspects; planning and implementation.

For those planning software configuration management activities, this standard provides guide-lines into the aspects which must be considered.

For those implementing software configuration management disciplines can use the sample Configuration Management Plan attached.

This How To Guide outlines the essential concepts of CM, including libraries and tools.


To achieve the above, the objective of a project manager will be the identification and establishment of baselines; the review, approval, and control of changes to the project components; the tracking and reporting of such changes; the reviews of the evolving product; the control of documentation; and the control of the interfaces to the clients and supplier.

However it should be noted that this How To Guide specifies the minimum requirements, and therefore the project manager has the option where required, to expand and supplement as necessary for the development of specific project activities.

In specific terms, the objective of CM procedures are to provide methods for:

Version identification
Obtaining approval to implement a modification
Ensuring that modifications are correctly integrated through formal change control pro-cedures
Controlling the identification of development status
Ensuring that nonconforming software is identified and segregated

Contribution to IS Quality. A structured and comprehensive approach to software design is known to be a major factor contributing to Information Systems Quality. Adequate configuration management is however often not performed, contributing to a higher number of software defects which impact the real and perceived quality of the software, as well as leading to time and expense being spent on rework and higher maintenance costs.

How to Write Configuration Management Plans is a plain-English, procedural guide to developing CM Plans that are both systematic and comprehensive. It contains detailed instructions and templates.
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Dr. David Tuffley is a Senior Lecturer in Applied Ethics and SocioTechnical Studies at Griffith University’s School of ICT. A regular contributor to mainstream media on the social impact of technology, David is a recognized expert in his field. Before academia David worked as an IT Consultant in Australia and the United Kingdom, a role he continues to perform when not educating the next generation of IT professionals. David is an engaging science communicator of many years experience, David was a guest panelist in the 2017 World Science Festival and a wide variety of high profile public events.

David's academic background includes fields as diverse as Psychology, Anthropology, Classical Rhetoric and English literature at the University of Queensland. David is an engaging professional speaker and forum moderator of many years experience.

David's formal qualifications include a PhD (Software Engineering), Master of Philosophy (Information Systems), Grad Cert in Higher Education (all from Griffith University), Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology, English Literature, Anthropology (University of Queensland)

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