Configuration Control

Configuration control is both an activity and process which is used to manage changes to a product's requirements and design. Ideally, it is a systematic method used for the evaluation, coordination, approval/ disapproval and implementation of all proposed product changes. After approval, the product changes must be accurately documented into the appropriate configuration baseline document (e.g., specification, blueprint, test procedure, or software source code), and then eventually incorporated into the actual end product. Successful incorporation of the change into the actual end product is the goal of the configuration control process.

Configuration Control: The Process

Configuration control is the process managers use to control the functional and physical characteristics of their system. To provide for change management, a Configuration Control Board (CCB) is usually established.

The CCB membership usually has representatives from all interested organizational activities, such as system engineering, product assurance, logistics support, production, test&evaluation, contracting, facilities management, training, using organizations (i.e., the end customer), and, in some cases, the system architect. Each member represents his/her perspective on a proposed change. The CCB chairman is usually the program manager responsible for the system. She/he makes all final decisions on proposed changes.

The CCB decision on any change proposal is usually implemented by means of a CCB Directive (CCBD) and then a bilateral contract modification. DOD policy encourages the issuance of bilateral, fully priced contract modifications, and discourages the use of unpriced change orders.

For further guidance, you can consult MIL-HDBK-61A. This is the official DoD guidance document for configuration change control, as well as all other aspects of configuration management.

Please click here to view a quick briefing on Configuration Control: Briefing

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