Roles and Activities > Manager Role Set > Configuration Manager > Establish Configuration Management (CM) Policies
Configuration identification is a core piece of configuration management and is defined by the IEEE as "an element of configuration management, consisting of selecting the configuration items for a system and recording their functional and physical characteristics in technical documentation". In terms of software configuration management, configuration identification means being able to find and identify the correct version of any project artifact quickly and easily. The negative impact of having an ineffective configuration identification system is measured in terms of lost time and quality.
Labels identify specific versions of artifacts. The set of artifacts that constitute a version of a subsystem are, collectively and individually, identifiable by a particular version and label. Labels are therefore useful in re-use or referencing original sets of versioned artifacts.
The following is a suggested product artifact labeling convention that can be used for labeling paths and artifacts in the Product Directory Structure.
<SYSTEM> Identifies the system
<SUBSYSTEM> Identifies each subsystem
Here are some examples:
A baseline provides a stable point, and a snapshot of the project artifacts. Concepts: Baselining describe when in the project lifecycle baselines need to be created. This step provides further guidance on the practice.
Baselines identify fixed sets of versions of files and directories and are created at given project milestones. Baselines can be created for a subsystem, or for the entire system. Baselines should be identified in accordance with the scheme outlined in the preceding process step (Define the Artifact Labeling Convention).
One distinction that needs to be made at the time of creating a baseline are whether you will be creating:
As a general guideline, it would facilitate release management to create System Baselines at the major and minor project milestones, and Subsystem Baselines as required or at a higher frequency. As a ‘rule of thumb’ it is a good idea to create a baseline if up 30% of the components in a subsystem have been changed.
The purpose of this step is to ensure that project software and related assets (master documents) are backed-up, catalogued and transferred to designated storage sites. Archives show their value in times of re-use or disaster. As such, archives need to be done regularly and at major and minor milestones.
Labeling guidelines described earlier under the process step ‘Define the Artifact Labeling Convention’ can be used when creating archiving labels. However, additional information may be required on where the actual media is to be stored. For example:
All product related information should be maintained on a database to facilitate release and re-use.
Concepts: Configuration Status Reporting describe the various sources for creating Configuration Status Reports.
Here, you should select reports that can be derived from the Change Requests submitted to the project. There are a number of useful Change Request based reports.
Under the ‘aging’ category, reporting could be requested in terms of the number of Change Requests over time periods of a week or month based on the following criteria:
Listing problems by state can help determine how close to completion the project might be. For example, if the bulk of the problems have been resolved then completion is closer than if the bulk of the problems are in the submitted state.
Under the ‘distribution’ category, reporting could be requested to answer the following types of questions:
These metrics can help in the analysis of work load, who is working on the most critical problems, and how quickly the problems are being closed.
Under the ‘trend’ category, reports could be requested to answer the following types of questions:
This data is useful assessing repair rates and could provide indications of engineering efficiency.
Ensure that reports are received at the right frequency to be provide meaningful input for decision making. Reports could be requested on the following basis:
Rational Unified Process