Configuration management originally comes from the aviation industry which was plagued by insufficient change documentation during the development of aeroplanes. So, in the fifties, the industry created a process to approach this problem. Since then, configuration management has been mainly encountered in software development. What does it involve?
What is configuration management?
Configuration management manages individual units of work results that describe the product or software. A unit is called a configuration. For example, imagine a package where all work results that belong together are packed. These might be programs, components, databases, documents or files. Normally there are different versions of these. This means that in configuration management individual parts of the product are gathered in each version as packets or configurations and these configurations are managed. This allows you to, for example, define which product configurations should be transferred to which customers.
What does “manage” mean, exactly? According to the IEEE standard 24765:2017, it means:
- Identifying and documenting functional and physical properties of configuration elements,
- Controlling property changes,
- Documenting and evaluating changes to and the status of implementation and
- Verifying accordance with the requirements.