Term Paper on Configuration Management
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Free Term Paper on Configuration Management
Configuration management in its totality involves comprehensive organization of a firm in all its aspects that entail the efforts implemented to attain a certain goal or the realization of the firm’s goals. The paper addresses diverse levels of management that once incorporated together offer or increase efficiency in an organization. This entails both the policies as well as the diverse systems arranged in a given manner to minimize much human intervention in accomplishing various tasks. For instance, configuration controller that entails incorporation of accounting figures that will enable good accounting system (Upegui et al, 2005).
In addressing and analyzing various components of management, it recognizes the diverse benefits that emanate from good application of configuration management aspects that entail immense expertise. Since some of the systems to attain and fulfill its goals, they require operation in a certain way. For example, if the system needs application of technological knowhow like electronic in installing certain soft wares to gain a given task done. The report comprises the systems control limits that have to be maintained especially in the fields of engineering and process control.
System control comprises either a set limits or operating from the reference of past targets that usually the designer or programmer incorporates in the system. Hence, acting as a memory that will keep reminding the system the far it can go or the limits and once reached it snaps. Generally, this comprises work of management where it keeps on referring of the past operations and comparing which one is the best despite its diverse machining in the process (Zhaoxun & Liya, 2009). Configuration management entails diverse operations from the policies to the effective working of numerous systems and thereby evaluating the benefits emanating from each aspect applied, for instance, modularity benefits.
Configuration management is a term that is coined from the combination of the two words, configuration and management. Defining the terms in a separate manner helps in identifying the meaning of the term in a deeper manner (Forza & Salvador, 2008). Taking the word configuration at first, it is used to the organization of sections of a certain whole product or element. Configuration is the detailed part of the management system employed. Taking up the term management, it is referred to as the act of looking over the way in which the arrangement and organization of the sections of the products is being carried out.
After the combination of the two terms, the literal meaning of the term configuration management is achieved. Configuration management is thus defined as the management of the way in which the parts of products are arranged to arrive at the final product. However, in depth definition of the term leads to the identification of the management further (Pinto, 2007). The definition is then found to be that configuration management is a discipline that offers a rational methodology for the forecasting, recognition and the maintenance of a certain part of the entire system. This discipline is important as it is the one held accountable for the running of the item from its launch to its demise.
Configuration management began back in the year 1950. This was when the artists and scientists who were involved with the program for launching the missile acknowledged that in the orbit, there lied prototype units. They went further to investigate the issue after the discovery and this led to their identification of poor documentation of information. “Configuration Management during the Development and Acquisition Phases” was a document that was released by the United States Air Force (Upegui et al, 2005). This was a manual that could be used by engineers and other experts in the field while going around their work. It was imperative as it set the required guidelines in the working of the force. It was also needed to avoid any form of mistakes.
After the release of this documentation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) came up with a similar documentation. The documentation was important as it set guidelines in the launching and the running of the Apollo (Pinto, 2007). This was done in 1964 when the first venture into space was carried out. It was also imperative, as it was in different orbits that the venture was being taken and hence utmost caution had to be taken. In the following year, the United States Army also came up with a similar documentation for the running of their operating machines and setting of guidelines. Later on in 1967, the United States Navy also came up with separate configuration management documentation.
Despite the fact that the United States Army, the Navy and the Air Force decided to come up with different configuration management system and worked well, the government was not satisfied with this. The United States Secretary of Defense at the time ordered that a unified configuration system for all the three units be put together (Upegui et al, 2005). This was citing the fact that three units operated in unison. After this, in 1968, the department of defense came up with a single configuration system for the three units and offered military standards involved with the management.
The standards that were set in the year 1968 continued ruling the United States military and were used in all their ventures. However, in the year 1992, the United States department of defense came up with another configuration management strategy aimed at maximizing the actions of the military (Forza & Salvador, 2008). Subsequently in the year 1998, the American National Standards Institute introduced the National Consensus Standard for Configuration Management. Through the years, there have been changes in the configuration management and the aspects that are employed in its running.
Configuration Management Terms and Definitions
This section of the field is going to explain different terms that are used when dealing with issues of configuration management in different fields. The first term to major on is Configuration Management. This as explained earlier is the discipline that offers a straight method for the running of a particular system for the provision of the best results. It is known to assist in its running from the time of conception of the idea to the end of it even if it is a contract.
Software Configuration Management
This is a branch of the entire configuration management and is specialized to the issues that deal with the software systems of the general system that is under scrutiny. Another term to identify with is Configuration Planning. This is the process of studying and learning a provided system. This is with the aim of identifying the manner in which it will be configured with regard to its features. It also tries to identify features that may or may not be supported by a certain configuration (Pinto, 2007).
It is a term that is used to refer to a certain part of the system that should be revised for any needed changes and alterations. This is done after it is noted that a mistake has been done on the particular section (Upegui et al, 2005). This is done to avoid any types of hitches and for the effectiveness of management. Configuration Control is an approach that is used to identify and give reasons as to why certain and particular changes were done to the system and the essence of the changes. The report obtained is then documented for further referencing.
The term that is used to refer to a point that is provided the setters of the configuration management plan. This is a point that is used as a reference or standard to be observed when configuring a system. The baseline is used for management and maintenance of the system to ensure that the system runs according to plan. Configuration Identification refers to the documentation of the system that offers guidelines on the given designs and other manual work that is to be carried out in the field (Zhaoxun & Liya, 2009). This branch of the configuration management is very vital as it tackles all the technical aspects associated with the management.
Engineering Change Request
Usually this physical documentation is found mainly in the offices of the people involved with configuring. The form is accessible by all human population as long as they have information that may assist in the identification of problems in the configuration (Pinto, 2007). The persons that access the form may be used to provide additional information to the plan, which might be helpful in the running and documentation. They may also be used as positive critics who criticize and identify mistakes that may be looming with the running of a particular system and other effective management tools (Upegui et al, 2005).
Configuration Status Accounting
This refers to a process through which the concerned people in the associated field. The accounting part of it refers to the acknowledgement of the state of the affairs and the full documentation of information associated with the configuration. For full effectiveness of this accounting, the person in charge of doing this should be with full awareness of the serial numbers of the products to avoid any kinds of confusion. This is also important for standard management (Pinto, 2007).
The accounting part covers the good to as far as where the consumer is. Due to this, the person involved should follow up and know how the transit process is and whether there any problems incurred. In general, the person held responsible for this work should know the contemporary condition of the shipment from the time it leaves the premises, as it in the field and up to the point where it reaches the client (Forza & Salvador, 2008).
Configuration Control Board
It is used to refer to a set of professionals and experts that are credited for the review of the changes that are done to the engineering aspects of a system (Pinto, 2007). The professionals have a lot of expertise in the given field and offer their consent of the changes after the baseline step has been covered. This is very imperative as it acts as double-checking of the system which ensures that the changes made were legitimate and necessary.
This is the last part of the configuration process and is used to identify and ensure that all the other processes leading to full configurations have been carried out (Zhaoxun & Liya, 2009). This section of the configuration looks into the way the configuration was done. It ensures that all the experts that were expected to counter check different parts of the systems did their work to their utmost ability. It also makes sure that the standards set by the baseline were achieved in the acquisition of full control. The audit makes sure that all the problems that could have been associated with the configuration were taken into account and all the related risk factors eliminated.
Configuration management as a facet of engineering is a methodology of including a product’s individual values such as strength at the early stages of product design (Barkan, 1988). These values may contain product sequestration, functionality, overhaul, business concerns, mechanized assembly, and any other fundamentals put on the manufactured goods from conception to end is reducing the number of components. Vassilvitskii, et al, (2002), revealed that Design for Assembly (DFA) could lead the way to significant savings all through production.
One aspect of construction cost is reducing the number of components in the product. Concept products comprise fewer apparatus for assembly (Forza & Salvador, 2008). By growing, preassemble and using standard interfaces, configuration decreases the cost of production. The supplier dictates the modules of subassemblies and is never the best possible option for the lowest cost. Design for Manufacturability (DFM) increases product design to minimize manufacturer costs. No matter the method, there are numerous process-specific blueprints rules or algorithms as well as several widely used best practices in DFM. These global best practices include reduction in tooling costs in addition to set up time.
Parallels between the data and functional design of the plan
Reduction of peripheral connections between physical components: In an extension, Yim et al, (2002), asserts that a modular of manufactured goods or sub-assembly has “a one-to-one correspondence from basic elements in the function arrangement to the substantial units of the product. This specification only accounts for the useful aspects of a product, ignoring all other production characteristics.
Benefits of modularity
To determine the benefits of modularity of project; it is imperative that all details the costs and the gains of modular products are identified. The benefits of product design they consider includes:
Constituent economies of scale through the value of units across product families,
Possibility of product upgrading due to practical units,
Improved product range from a smaller set of components,
Diminished level lead-time due to inferior components
The costs of configurations they consider includes:
Absence of performance monitoring due to lack of concern sharing and larger size,
Increased cell changeable costs
Lack of unit optimization (Zhaoxun & Liya, 2009).
extreme product similarity due to equivalent components (even though this is just a question if the end user (Forza & Salvador, 2008). Configuration management allows the designer to limit the extent to which alterations in production processes affect the outcome blueprint. modularity promotes variability, also gives engineers more power, with decreased production time, to meet these varying processes.
Apparatus or sub-assemblies (hither to see as components) which are, or planned to be, comparatively modular in default method called modules. Modules maintain a range of components with few dependencies equal to other workings in the items not in the plan, but have a high level of dependence and connection to other apparatus in the unit. These addictions and similarities includes, those which come from the relations between the units’ attributes, and those, which come from the relationships between the components through the diverse phenomena the components experience in their life cycle (Vassilvitskii, et al, 2002).
In preceding work, typical configurations are visible as configured applied to a single life-cycle characteristic (Gershenson & Prasad, 1997). Characteristic elements comprises of a number of components with dependencies relative to other machineries in the product. This is usually with connections to specific phase of the production process. Particular characteristic shape is the promotion of product modules with minor components upon other units of the product, in the product with reference to production processes. In addition, the units within the model have maximal similarity to each other and minimal similarities to external components with reference to their production processes. Such configurations can arise from a unit, which include all of the components in shot molded products (Upegui et al, 2005).
Design Methodology for Manufacturing Modularity
This method is quite different from maintaining form/function autonomy. Modular design patterns are the essence of this project. It is the purpose of modular system to organize all qualities with comparable processes into an individual module and decouple them from all other salient features and processes (Zhaoxun & Liya, 2009). Forming modular products include making sure that, at each level of modulation; the product’s characteristics are as distinct from one another as probable for each level of abstraction of the production tasks. If dependence does exist, it ought to occur within a module. In addition, within a section
This is quite different from designing products with consistent or reconfigured features. Each manufacturing process should be similar for every attribute. For example, many different sections can have black components and stay modular.
Below are definitions and examples of the three aspects of modular product design:
a). Attribute integrity
Vassilvitskii et al, (2002), asserts that attribute integrity refers to element attributes, which actually have less dependence on attributes of components outside of the units, called external characteristics. If there are dependencies, there ought to be smaller part of them and they should be reliant to a lesser degree. Attribute integrity yields establish freedom, which allows for modularity. Attribute strength allows for the redesign of an element with minimized effects on the other parts of the product. This makes a product also flexible in meeting changing requirements. A basic model of quality integrity reducing agility would be great as aluminium units, which the model supports with a plastic box.
b). Process integrity
Yim et al, (2002), points that each production process of each piece has fewer dependencies on the procedures of small components. This necessitates that the production processes (including all errands) that the units undergoes are independent of the progressions undergone by external components and modules. Again, any dependencies that do exist reduced in number and criticality. For example, two cast parts pushed together while still close to strengthen the association. If the procedures of one hand adjustments so that there is a distinct cooling time, the process of the other portion must transform to enable the designer to press them together at the same time.
c). Process stability
Yim et al, (2002), suggest that the designer should group units and sub-assemblies that pass through the same productions procedures into the same company where viable. This minimizes the range of number of exterior components, which the designer subjects to similar processes and create a strong distinction between modules. E.g., Unbreakable plastic components for a motorbike such as rear swing arm, rear forks, wheel and discs can be chopped fibers, woven fabric, permanent lengths of fiber, or slightly bent materials (Forza & Salvador, 2008). To get a good bonding between the r thread and the polymer matrix, it is essential to hide the championship with the polymer. The various parts all sustain this specific procedure. IF they inevitably place in a single module, all of the constituent, which underwent this development, is made at a particular place and have an abnormal result to any changes in the production process.
An example includes a coffee maker. Writing all of the components of the coffee maker’s heart like through the same manufacturing practice (that is injection molding) and can be fashioned together leading to shorter production times, improved productivity and abridged overheads. These similarities indicate the benefits of industrialized modularity. This modularity does not occur with other components such as the glass carafe (Forza & Salvador, 2008). The designer should put units of the glass carafe together after its units undergo different production processes such as stamping, injection molding, blow molding and metal finish. The glass carafe is a reduced model of modular blueprint
In that, it does not allow business instability and uniformity. The designer should design the glass carafe in more modular approach by removing the plastic insert, screw and metal band. In addition, he can design the grip of the carafe with a hook so that it can without difficulty fix on to the grip on the carafe and put together with the carafe using a durable bonding agent. These design alterations will make the glass piece more complex than its preceding design with reverence to play (Vassilvitskii et al, 2002).
The gains of modular form for manufacture centre on extending the aspects of economies and freedom of scale those modular things have used to expand the end user cost. “Incorporating modularity, flexibility, and adaptability into the system to provide support able to adjust and adapt to alterations (Upegui, et al, (2005). The gains of configuration management include “modernized suppliers, reduced inventory, fewer works in procedure and faster process time in addition to the elemental economies of scale, effortlessness product update, increased product mix from a smaller number of units, and decreased quality delivery-time (Yim, 2002).
This tactic enables the benefits of configuration management. The key elements of configuration management manifests in three main aspects of the design methodology, they include: attribute reliability, process reliability, and process similarity. These components demonstrated in the electric coffee maker standard. The designer can use this realistic method of producing more modular products in combination with a structured design approach to reduce the production costs of a product.
According to Upegui et al (2005), the designer considers the three components of the design pattern separately or as a group. Implementing the system early in the model site will allow for the entire analysis of units, configuration, and mechanized job options. While the expansion, and application of a modular system for making methodology is very relevant by itself, With the proper configuration of a product, its easier to apply for certification from certification bodies usually ISO for the 9000 series. Such certification can prove to be particularly useful when it comes to mass production and marketing of the product Project management is an integral part of management as a field; it has its own dynamics, which makes it stand out from the balance of normal forms of management (Forza & Salvador, 2008).
One aspect about project management that is remarkable is that there is exceedingly little room for mistakes and whenever the mistakes happen, it is nearly impossible to cover it up. This is because there are usually time-bound benchmarks, which the engineer uses to evaluate the progress of the project. Hence, every aspect and strategy becomes essential for the overall success of the project. Pressure from the client can be such a put down especially if the user has direct access to the project during its progress (Forza & Salvador, 2008).
Configuration Management Plan and Disciplines
Configuration refers to the functional characteristics of a certain product included in the technical documents and achieved in the product. The term configuration refers to the series of chronological created by variations of a product (Sage & Rouse, 2009). There are four phases in the configuration management plan. The four phases in the configuration management plan include the following:
Concept formulation phase
The four phases of the configuration management help in applying technical direction in the production period of a particular product. The first three phases of the configuration consist of three termination baselines (Sage & Rouse, 2009). The function of the termination baselines is to represent the checkpoint during the design and development of the product in the process of manufacturing. There are various disciplines included in the life cycle of a product in the configuration management. The disciplines enclosed in the life cycle of a product include the following:
Identification discipline is the stage where there the process of the final documentation of the product during the processing in each phase of the life cycle. The process of product formulation takes place in this discipline. The discipline helps in making the correct technical documentation while identifying and approving all the products under the configuration management (Sage & Rouse, 2009). This process proceeds until the products in the process reach in the field. An example of the documentation required in the identification includes the following:
A competent configuration identification system ought to maintain certain requirements. The essential requirements for a competent identification system include that it should be easy to develop and every technician can easily understand how to use. A better system ought to identify clearly all the data associated with the production process. The system ought to have well written procedures to help in identification of various procedures in the operation. The system also ought to be flexible in order to give a room for any adaptation to different situations without causing any difficulties (Sage & Rouse, 2009).
The control discipline is a systematic way of identifying and accounting various changes in the configuration system. The policies and objectives related to the system entails that all the data in the configuration management plan that has an effect from various changes in the process ought to be in an appropriate way after making thorough considerations. There ought to be an effective implementation if when there are changes in the control system (Pinto, 2007). The control discipline also entails that there ought to be an effective procedure of making changes related to the support materials that include the handbooks and support materials. In the control discipline, permission to changes associated with retrofit engineering is permissible due to functional reasons (Upegui et al, 2005). The control discipline entails mostly on the changes to documentation that occur when there is approval of specified changes in the configuration management process. In the control process, there is also the system of changing some of the analysis factors. This is possible after the configuration manager approves the analysis of the changes made. The changes made in the control discipline are successful due to certain factors like number of parts from a particular number of vendors. Another factor that helps in making successful changes includes the need of test qualifications and the status of a certain product (Pinto, 2007).
c). Configuration Status Accounting
The main purpose of this discipline is to enable a successful method of recording the logistics established by the management. The objective of this discipline is to enable the visibility of the current-status of the configuration products that are in the baseline. The discipline also enables the visibility of the products while in parts. The technician can identify the status of every document through the help of serial numbers (Zhang, 2011). Another method of identifying the recording of various documents is establishing the shipment and the field status of the documents. The records in the configuration status accounting include the items location and the modification status of the selected item. The records also show the serial number of selected items and products.
d). Configuration controller
The configuration controller performs the obligation of accounting all the configuration items. The tasks of the controller ought to perform the entitled functions in relation to the configuration status accounts. This function is possible due to the availability of the report template enclosed in the configuration status account. The configuration controller has the obligation of identifying and if possible tracking all the configuration items. The configuration items include all the actions from the project initiation to the release of the products obtained from a particular work (Zhang, 2011). The configuration controller has another obligation of communicating the status accounting report to a number of concerned managers. The managers in relation to this issue include the ones form the following departments; project manager, the development manager and the quality assurance manager.
e). Configuration Accounting Report
A configuration accounting report entails various types of information related to the process of the configuration management. The information in the report includes the reason for the changes made in the documents related to the process. The information also include the reason why there was a need to apply the change in a certain product (Zhang, 2011). Essential information in the report includes the identification date that describes when the information took place. The amount of the charge implied to change is in the report. The change made in the description of the product is an essential requirement included in the report. The report also entails the information of the date for the submission of the item or the product. Another essential material included in the report is the name of the technician who is responsible for the installation and the number of materials used in the whole process.
f). Configuration Management Organization
The configuration management provides the success of the configuration management. The configuration management is usually an activity that entails primary control of various issues. In order to enforce and empower various business activities in the organization, the top configuration management officials have the obligation of employing the enterprise. In major organizations like aerospace industries, the management installs the configuration management in rank of directorate. However, in small companies, the management organizes the configuration management as a staff function (Zhang, 2011). The configuration management of these small entities is highly effective nowadays.
Apart from the high rank management, other individuals included in configuration management organizations include the drafter and the data entry clerk. Other employees in the management organization include the technical writers, the secretary and designer. The configuration management entails to perform various tasks in the organization in order to assist in achieving the set strategic goals. One of the main responsibilities for the administration in the configuration management is to coordinate and arrange all the activities that concern the configuration control board. The administration also has the responsibility of performing the implementation of the plans that affect all changes. Another obligation of administration is to connect a strong relationship with perspective customers (Zhang, 2011).
g). Configuration Control Board
Configuration control board has the responsibility of presenting various issues from by other members of the organization to the high rank management officials. This board is lead by a manager who is in charge of a certain project. In case the manager is not available, the board is lead by a designated representative. The purpose of this board is to make final decisions although within a framework of a certain set project. The board is the only authority entitled for the disposition of various documents in the project configuration. The board has the power to make a change of categorization (Pinto, 2007).
While performing this duty, the board determines the final concurrence classified in the indicated changes. The board is able to review the type of change that has occurred in during a certain period. The board also has an obligation of making agreements especially in the priority of change. The board may change the correlation within the third parties and change the implementation of various strategies effectively (Pinto, 2007). The configuration control board members may be come from different departments and areas. Some of the may be from the manufacturing, test engineering while others may be from the purchasing department. The board may also come from the departments of finance, logistics and suppliers. The main principal role of the board members is to check whether various items including the necessity for change.
f) Configuration Manager Tasks plus Qualities
A configuration manager has various tasks and qualities related to his job. He should have a proper understanding of the system or the product that he is dealing with. He must have the capability to act upon his roles, as it is required of him (Pinto, 2007). A good configuration manager is equipped with knowledge of devising methods of planning for the system or the project that is currently in the process or need to be developed. He should be having skills of identifying plus controlling and accounting of the product or system configuration up to the end. Apart from having the above skills, the manager should have the following attributes (Zhaoxun & Liya, 2009).
g). Superior documentation skills
Documentation in an engineering perspective means the ability for a person to include information alongside a product or system. For example in software engineering, a person with excellent documentation skills provides a written guideline on the system (Upegui et al, 2005). The guideline shows the information on how a system works or how a product is used. The manager should portray an understanding of all types of documentation. He ought to be capable of drawing statements that identify the features, abilities and qualities of the product or system. Portrayal of design capabilities is also a significant act of documentation. The design is associated to the surroundings plus the construction principles. The use of technical documentation is vital, algorithms, interfaces and other technical methods of documentation are encouraged. The documentation does not leave an explanation of the product or system in terms of market and demand. A good manager poses the attributes of documentation (Zhaoxun & Liya, 2009).
h) Ability to administer and organize
Proper administration skills are important for managers in configuration management. A good manager should be able to organize the required resources for the creation or design of the product or system. He should also administrate his personnel towards acquiring the preferred results. People work best when they are in teams especially for tasks that require careful thinking. The manager should posses the skill to control the teams while performing the assigned tasks. Managers who perform well posses the qualities of strong leadership (Zhaoxun & Liya, 2009).
A good configuration manager pays much attention to details. The manager has a responsibility of the whole configuration management and offers the needed environment for product or system design. The product creation teams require the decisions and guidance of the manager. The manager is to give detailed information inform of plans and control the process. If the manager does not provide adequate and vivid information then the developers or designers of product may skip important information leading to failure of a project (Forza & Salvador, 2008)
j) Tact and diplomacy
Good manager has communication skills that enable communication with people in a manner that their opinions are into consideration. Tact plus diplomacy is the ability of being aware of the thoughts of people. The manager with these skills can read the minds of the people he is addressing and determine which decision to take. He knows how he will speak to avoid hurting the thoughts of people. This aspect is very vital in configuration management. This quality though desirable has to be controlled because too much of it can raise pessimistic feelings instead of positive ones. Managers with desirable levels of tact and diplomacy are polite and posses courtesy. They listen carefully before making significant decisions. The decisions are of significance to the working of the organizations (Forza & Salvador, 2008).
k) Good technical knowledge in areas such as design, manufacturing, testing, and quality control
The knowledge on design, manufacturing testing plus quality is important because the manager cannot lead and control the product development team. This knowledge enables the manager to draw important plans for implementation. He cannot configure operations without this knowledge. The manufacturing and test quality know is important. This is because apart from directing the personnel in the process of development, he has the potential to understand well what exactly he is dealing with and help achieve desired results (Forza & Salvador, 2008).
l) Familiarity with the company and the product
Familiarity with organization and the product is vital to the manager because he is able to perform his duties well (Yim et al, 2002). It is difficult for a configuration manager to make a mistake when he has worked in a company for a considerable period. Familiarity enables a manager to determine the cause of action of any situation immediately. The understanding in various product plus design procedures makes work efficient. The manager is aware of all situations in the company and can even predict the outcome of events based on the experience. Leading and supervision of work thus becomes easy. The success of a project is a determination by how well the manager is able to combine the available resources including work force and implement important strategies. A configuration manager lays strategies that become successful based on experience of his work. Familiarity enables a person to develop proper psyche and thus his working is more efficient than before (Forza & Salvador, 2008).
m) Ability to coordinate the work of individuals in widely different Activities
A good configuration manager is able to coordinate the work of employees in a wide range of activities. He makes employees work together in acquiring set goals plus objectives. The manager adjusts various activities to ensure that various procedures as shown in the plans are in effect. Coordination is a function of management alongside other functions such as controlling plus planning. These aspects are vital to a winning configuration management. Coordination enables workers to follow desired procedures without making mistakes that will cost the company unnecessary expenses (Forza & Salvador, 2008).
n) Ability to focus on the overall picture of a project and at the same time not ignore minute details
Having a wide picture of a project in process or that is under implementation is significant to managers. An overall view of the project means a vivid understanding of the procedures, results outcomes and possible shortcomings of the project. The manager should get attentive to details and should not omit details however minute they are. Ignoring minute details leads to problems in configuration management (Forza & Salvador, 2008).
o) Ability to resist pressure to take shortcuts during an emergency
A good manager has the potential to withstand pressure. Working under pressure will prevent taking shortcuts in the implementation of strategic plans in an organization. This quality assists the manager in coping with emergencies arising in the process of project management.
Successful Configuration Management features procedure for Controlling Products pattern and Documentation (Yim et al, 2002).
A successful pattern management has various features desirable to offer procedures for product control and documentation (Yim et al, 2002). It should provide satisfaction to set goals plus objectives at considerable costs acceptable by buyer plus sellers of the product. Precise, absolute, and early definition of configuration management
Scope, procedures, goals, and objectives
This characteristic is mandatory for successful configuration management. Accuracy in planning and setting of goals plus objectives ensures efficient and timely completion of projects (Andre, 2010). Definition of management gives proper understanding of work in progress. The understanding enables efficiency in achieving set objectives.
Simple configuration control, identification, and accounting approach or system—as much as possible
Application of simple configuration control measures and accounting is an important aspect. Correct accounting ensures that the resources awarded for different activities are sufficient for completing the activities. Any error of accounting can compromise project results.
Minimum need for labor
The labor requirements need an examination so that a minimum number of personnel undertake a certain project. Unnecessary labor will increase the costs incurred in an organization.
Accurate and complete descriptions of changes in question
Any adjustments in the management or configuration procedures need a reshuffle in an amicable manner. Managers should perform proper documentation that describes various changes. Communication of the changes to the product developers helps those complete projects in an efficient manner. Other characteristics include ensuring proper change evaluation and processing. This aspect involve careful scope of various changes by evaluation to determine which changes best suits an operation (Andre, 2010).
Minimal number of forms and other associated documents to implement changes and to provide full records of such changes
The number of forms to implement changes should be minimal so that accessibility of information is fast. Too much forms plus other documents becomes difficult to handle and thus a waste of time.
Cooperative and responsive customers
A proper system of management provides response to customers. It cooperates with the customers towards achieving proper control of products and documentation.
Effective coordination among project team members
Coordination among the members of the team is important. The members should have team leadership skills. The manager plays the role of coordination and controlling.
Accuracy in change identification and accounting
This involves keeping of correct records and accounting of the changes taking place. The accounting gives the records of the changed components and reports the condition of the configuration. This is a suitable characteristic for proper configuration management. Identification process entails network recognition and determination of components of the network (Andre, 2010).
Symptoms of Ineffective Application of Configuration Management
Configuration management needs at all times to cater effectively in meeting of the set targets and goals that an organization has set with minimum resources (Yim et al, 2002). It requires them be featured in the allocated timeframe, which serves at the main and vital resource, which an organization has at its disposal. Hence, it needs proper managing since in tempering or misusing this vital resource it means no other resources will be able to meet the set target. In evaluating and predicting whether a certain organization will be able to meet the set targets; its systems and operations depict some signs that are beyond doubt if it will fail or succeed (Yim et al, 2002). Ineffective implementation of Configuration management depicts itself in numerous ways and entails evaluation of a competent strategist to identify them in comparison with varying resource of time. Since time limits, any activity or a strategy aimed in attaining certain target even in personal level. The signs or symptoms that may depict themselves to bring utter conclusion that an organization applies indifferent its configuration comprises of:
The organization or any system aspiring to attain a set targets fails in its planning on which objective comes first than the other (Seith, 1967). This is vital especially in the events of major compromises that need consideration in attaining a certain aim while setting aside former idea. The essence of timeframe mostly lacks in detailing how to acquire a certain target. The steering team of strategists seems not having what it takes to implement the given idea, policy or strategy at a given occasion (Seith, 1967). The management or strategists due to the absence of clear objectives tend to have no direction in pursuing the objectives. Hence, they have too many things at hand to attend while ignoring their main essence of functionality.
Excess time taken in formulating decisions concerning changes
Both the organization and the steering team, seem to drag in decision making especially in effecting vital plans. Business environment currently faces very dynamic changes that in failing to change and align ones organization with the transformational wave, it may mean closure or immense loss of a company (Upegui et al, 2005). Hence, the strategists require constant and quick action on every change that resurfaces in their line of operation. The organization in implementing a new change or decision, takes unexpected long time over either consultation or wrangles that emanates from transformational changes. This comes from indecision on the part of the management and lack of exercising its power to effect changes.
High expenses in implementing the required changes
This is caused by over consultations, sluggishness and lack of full commitment on the part of pioneer team mandated with c championing various change, until it is too late (Upegui et al, 2005). Lateness prompts hurrying and haste decision-making that entails expenses in terms of time and physical resources. Time meant to undertake other activities mainly come to halt so that to these tasks paves way for the already urgent commitments. These mainly are not in the schedule.
Absence of inconsistence recording plus paraphernalia involved
It involves inadequate documentation of any change that occurs in the process network regarding operational standards, TACAS configuration log, end-user inventory data, current device and network topology. Mainly the organization fails in giving the details of how it utilizes and implements the above stated procedures (Jaejoon & Muthig, 2006).
Among its strategists, the only goal is that the organization still moves on but in detailing whether it succeeds or failing in one sector; no document features the results. There is no proper accountability in recording and depiction of what changes have occurred in organization (Seith, 1967).
Observing and referring to the experiences of the already flourishing companies. It is surety that configuration management approach is effective and guarantees success in any venture. Configuration management if applied well and effectively in managing projects and organization assures profitability (Upegui et al, 2005). Since, it entails full utilization of resources and establishment of attainable objectives with their clarity. Configuration management ensures the obliteration of unnecessary effort or resources applied in a misplaced projects, finds its application in a more essential sector.
Software Configuration Management (CM)
Today’s systems, despite their complexity turn sophisticated with time, since innovations guarantee their changing development (Yim et al, 2002). Software configuration management make systems’ complexity effective and controlled, hence yielding to cohesion with its diverse elements. Currently Configuration Management compared more software to hardware CM (Upegui et al, 2005). However, software CM does not vary greatly with hardware especially in accomplishing the targeted objectives. The individual architecture of the hardware may sometimes bear slight variance or almost similar but the greatest difference occurs in the objectives they have to accomplish. Software CM includes four groups that are;
It is automation of processes to answer basic questions emanating from the changes happening in an organization’s lines of action. It gives full accountability of what is happening in each sector and giving feedback to the controller who decides whether the changes depicted requires any action (Upegui et al, 2005). Mainly process control entails minimizing immense involvement of humanity in the process of monitoring diverse actions in an organization. In addition, due to humanity prone to making unnecessary errors, process control intervenes with its full technological power to increase efficiency. Hence, guaranteeing uniformity that might at sometimes difficult to attain with physical means.
This monitors and ensures that the quality of f the organization is up to the required standards. Hence, making both internal as well as external surroundings do not conflict with the organization’s activities and yield to disaster; costing loss of life or property (Upegui et al, 2005). In addition, this practice includes good working environment that motivates the workers such that they are in harmony and attain their goals with ease. Management intervenes in making sure that each employee is satisfied and enjoys a free and fair environment since the expression of oneself is ensured and highly esteemed.
This is how building and other organizational structures in an organization are built as well as the space allocated for expansion. It is the planning maintained by the steering executive elected or appointed for the realization of the firm’s goals and targets (Pinto, 2007). Mainly this is a version dealing with the future of the company and it accounts all the questions concerning what the firm anticipates to achieve in future.
Version control restricts transfer and sharing of organization’s files and documents either amid organizations same level departments in an organization. Mainly this involves application of computer’s diverse software and instructions that ensures that firm maintains its confidentiality (Jaejoon & Muthig, 2006).
However, how much configuration management approach is effective in running an organization it does not lack certain weaknesses in it application. These entail the shortcomings of the approach in comparison to the former approaches (Pinto, 2007). They include:
Excessive paper work and documentation
There is Unnecessary over consultation by the management. This wastes time and resources that could have been used in either implementing other policies or expanding of the organization.
Absence of proper evaluation of reviews concerning a policy in the implementation process
High instances of unmanaged software in the organization yielding poor software configuration
Lack of hard copy with written rules and regulations
Acceptance of software having mainly premature development
High accessibility of configured documents to every person that might leak essential information from the organization
Configuration management since its invention has proved its effectiveness in numerous organizations that have applied it . Since, it handles management in its entirety ensuring that no aspect is left out except the failing of the organization faulting to implement all its aspects effectively. However, it has some shortcomings that emanates from its loopholes, which have not made full coverage of the approach. The main shortcomings include consulting and waiting the approval from the members it governs coupled with unsecure management of files or documents to maintain its confidentiality (Pinto, 2007). This is because the system entails sharing and exchange of files that might fall in the hands of unreliable people. In case of malicious acts, the organization might suffer immensely if configuration management is not instilled well and to the right standards. The predicaments that emanates from configuration management can be solved adequately via altering the way it shares its documents and files, thus maintaining an organization’s confidentiality (Jaejoon & Muthig, 2006).
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