Configuration Management Design Methodology for Producing Modularity Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Configuration Management

Design Methodology for producing Modularity

Aspects of modular product design:

Attribute integrity

Process integrity

Process stability

Details oriented

Scope, procedures, goals, and objectives

Simple configuration control

Minimum requirement for labor

Precise and absolute descriptions of changes in question

Cooperative and responsive customers'

Effective coordination among project team members


Software Configuration Management

Configuration Item

Engineering Change Request


Configuration Control Board

Parallels between the data and functional design of the plan

Advantages of modularity





163. CONFIGURATION Management (CM)


Process Overview

183.2 CM PLANNING AND Management







Acronyms Used

CM -- Configuration Management

SOA - Service Oriented Architecture

CCBs - Configuration Control Boards

CI -- configuration Item

SMEs -- subject Matter Experts

ERBs -- Engineering Review Boards

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Configuration management


Configuration management is a concept coined from the blending of the two terms, configuration and management. In order to have a precise understanding of the terms, it is essential to define these two words separately. This helps in having a deeper meaning of the terms. Considering the term configuration, it involves the organization of segments of a particular the entire product or constituent. Configuration entails the comprehensive section of the management system employed (Watts 213-245).

On the other hand, considering the term management, it entails the aspect of looking over the manner in which the organizational arrangement of the various sections is carried out. After the integration of these two terms, then, we arrive at the literal meaning of the two terms. Therefore, Configuration management is the management of the various parts of the product until they produce the final product. However, in depth clarity of the concept leads to the recognition of the management further (Watts 213-245). For that reason, configuration management is a field that provides a coherent methodology for the anticipation, identification and the preservation of a particular section of the whole system. This discipline is significant, since it holds the responsibility for the management of the item from its roots to its end.

Configuration management started in 1950. This was the period artists and scientists deeply rooted with the program for initiating the missile accepted that in the orbit, there existed prototype units. They furthered their investigation by focusing on the issue, subsequent to the findings they identified poor recording of information. Configuration Management throughout the Development and Acquisition Phases was unrestricted information by the United States Air Force. This was a manual that engineers and other experts could apply in their respective fields which carrying out their tasks. It was essential as it defines the necessary policies in the operation of the force (Software Program Managers Network 111-187).

The manual was to be free from errors. After the discharge of this documentation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) generated a comparable documentation. The record was significant as it provided strategies in the induction and the management of the Apollo .The firsts venture took place in the place in 1964. It was also crucial, as it appeared in diverse orbits depending on the venture taken, and therefore, extreme prudence was necessary. In the subsequent year, the American Army as well came up with a related record for the organization of their operating machines and definition of their policies. Soon after in 1967, the American Navy too generated a distinct configuration management record. Regardless of the fact that, the American Army, the Navy and the Air Force settled to invent diverse configuration management system and was successful, the government was unsatisfied with such documentation.

The American Secretary of Defense by then ordered for the unification of configuration system for all the three units to be adjoined .This explained the reason the three units functioned in unanimity. Subsequently, in 1968, defense department invented a solitary configuration system for the three units and provided military principles implicated with the running. The policies set in the year 1968 ruled the United States Military and applied them in all their undertakings (Software Program Managers Network 111-187).

On the other hand, in the year 1992, the United States department of defense invented another configuration management policy intended at optimizing the deeds of the military. Consequently, in the year 1998, the American National Standards Institute came up with the National Consensus Standard for Configuration Management. Throughout the years, there were numerous dynamic changes in the configuration management and the aspects used in its operation (Smith & Bayne 123-156).

Design Methodology for producing Modularity

This technique is rather diverse from preserving form/function autonomy. Modular design patterns are the core of this discussion. It is the rationale of modular system to classify all values with analogous procedures into an entity module and decouple them from all other significant aspects and processes. Structuring modular products comprise ascertaining that, at each stage of modulation; the product's features are as different from each other as plausible for each stage of concept of the production tasks. If, therefore, the concept of existence exists, it must occur within a module, most probably within a section. This is rather different from designing products with dependable or reconfigured aspects. Each of the production procedures ought to be similar for every attribute. For instance, many diverse sectors can have black features and stay modular.

Aspects of modular product design:

a). Attribute integrity

Buckley & Fletcher (19) confirms that attribute integrity relates to component attributes, which essentially have less reliance on attributes of elements outside the units, called external characteristics.

b). Process integrity

Buckley & Fletcher (19) asserts that each manufacturing procedure of each segment less dependencies on the processes of small components. This facilitates that the production procedure (comprising all tasks) that the unit's encounters are self-determining of the developments faced by external elements and modules.

c). Process stability

Buckley & Fletcher (19) propose that the product designer should assemble units and sub-assemblies that goes through the similar productions processes into the same company where feasible. This decreases the variety of numbers of external elements, which the production designer subjects to comparable procedures and develop a powerful distinction between modules. For instance, strong plastic elements 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. An example comprises a coffee maker.

Details oriented

An excellent configuration manager focus on the product details. The manager takes care of the entire whole configuration management process and provides the required atmosphere for product or system design. The product development teams expect the manger to offer decision and guidance. Therefore, the manager should offer comprehensive information concerning the organizational plans and processes. If the manager fails to give adequate and stunning information then the developers or designers of product may leave out vital information causing to failure of a project.

In addition, the manager must possess excellent communication skills that facilitate communication with employees and customers in a way that their views are put into thought. In this case, tact and diplomacy is the capacity of considering other people's ideas. The manager with this expertise can examine the thoughts of people he addresses and determine the decision to consider. He knows how to approach his people in order avoid hurting the minds of the people he is addressing. This aspect is very significant in configuration management. Even though this quality appears desirable, there must be a control since too much of it can result to pessimism feelings rather than constructive ones.

Managers with attractive levels of tact and diplomacy possess qualities of politeness and courtesy. They are attentive and take caution before making any crucial decisions. The decisions they make are very significant in the overall management of the firm. Knowledge on design, production testing and quality is significant since the manager is unable to control the product development team. This knowledge assists the manager to arrive at significant plans for implementation. It is difficult for the manager to configure operations without management expertise.

In addition, the production and test quality knowledge is crucial. This is because other than directing the workforce in the procedure of development, the manager has potential to understand the management process in accomplishing the desired outcome. A triumphant pattern management has n assortment of aspects enviable to present procedures for product control and documentation. It should offer contentment to set objectives at substantial costs considerable to buyers and sellers of the product. This is the precise and absolute definition configuration management.

Scope, procedures, goals, and objectives

These features are necessary for successful configuration management. Precision in planning and setting of objectives ensures proficient and timely completion of projects. Definition of management gives appropriate perceptive of work in progress. The perception facilitates effectiveness in accomplishing the set…

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