Project Management

Singing the Configuration Management Blues

Joel Kohler

When B.B. King sings the blues, the audience enjoys it. When project managers “sing the blues,” it’s rarely enjoyable to anyone within earshot.

So why do design changes, mismatched parts, repetitive safety problems, or high rates of returns allow some businesses to continue “in the pink,” while other similar businesses suffer the blues?

If problems like these are getting you down, you may have the “configuration management blues.” Good configuration management is necessary to keep your products good, your projects on track, and your whole group playing together. Without it, if you’re lucky enough to still be in business, you’ll definitely have a case of the blues.

The “Low-Down” on Configuration Management

Configuration management is a critical part of project management. It’s an organized process that tracks and controls all of the product changes that ripple through every project.

With the help of Andy Crowe’s project management text, “The PMP Exam” (2005), we can further define the process. It is the system of managing documentation, change control, accounting, and auditing. The purpose of configuration management is ensuring consistency, while minimizing mismatches.

Here are some key features of configuration management:

  • It applies to the physical …

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