The relatively minimal cost of implementing CM is returned manyfold in cost avoidance. The lack of CM, or its ineffectual implementation, can be very expensive and sometimes can have such catastrophic consequences such as failure of equipment or loss of life. The life cycle often starts with a feasibility study, goes on to create a project plan, and then enters into the requirements analysis and system design phases. Each of these phases produces one or more deliverables, schedules, and artifacts. In sum, the beginnings of a systems documentation effort should include the feasibility study, project plan, requirements specification, and design specification, where available.
Visconti’s four-level documentation maturity model provides the basis for an assessment of an organization’s current documentation process and identifies key practices and challenges to improve the process. Key practices, as defined by Cook and Visconti , are listed in Table 7.3. Configuration management (CM) must support the development
project and the environment in which it will be maintained and operated.
Availability of accurate and timely data is essential in order for CM to provide operational value and a lack of this can often be a limiting factor. Capturing and disseminating the operating data to the various support organizations is becoming an industry in itself. Complex assets such as aircraft, ships, industrial machinery etc. depend on many different components being serviceable. This serviceability is often defined in terms of the amount of usage the component has had since it was new, since fitted, since repaired, the amount of use it has had over its life and several other limiting factors.
This enables a mapping from an organization’s past performance to a documentation maturity level and ultimately generates a documentation process profile. The profile indicates key practices for that level and identifies areas of improvement and challenges to move to the next -higher level. CM applied over the life cycle of a system provides visibility and control of its performance, functional, and physical attributes. CM verifies that a system performs as intended, and is identified and documented in sufficient detail to support its projected life cycle. The CM process facilitates orderly management of system information and system changes for such beneficial purposes as to revise capability; improve performance, reliability, or maintainability; extend life; reduce cost; reduce risk and liability; or correct defects.
project is conducted in accordance with the life cycle model for planning,
managing, developing, and operating IT systems. CM may be performed on
specific products at the end of each life cycle phase. Configuration accounting status has been traditionally considered to perform the recording and reporting tasks within CM. We discuss the motivations for extending it with support for project control activities, and lay down requirements for integrating it with a software engineering environment that provides mechanisms for process integration. Configuration audits facilitate project management and
technical activities to verify project products.
Current document organization techniques are derived from techniques used in file systems and are not sufficient for organizing the large number of heterogeneous documents that are becoming available for various purposes. Good software development is standards based and, thus, documentation must also be standards based. At present, many organizations are practicing a “hit-or- miss ” form of software documentation. These are usually the companies that follow no or few policies and procedures, and loosely follow standards. Wallace argues that normal specification techniques aim to foster understanding and increase reliability by providing a mathematical foundation to software documentation.
Some of the automatic documentation capabilities are subset systems of a wider range of capabilities; such is the case with many computer-aided software engineering (CASE) tools. These products are designed to support development efforts throughout the software development life cycle (SDLC), with documentation being just one small part. The inputs,
outputs, facilitators and constraints in this model are simply extracted
Required Privilege Level
from the overall CM activity model in section 4 (Refer back to
Figure 4-1). CSA receives information from the other CM and
related activities as the functions are performed.
The Information Technology Change Control Board (IT
CCB) is a high level change organization that assists various Change Control
Boards in coordinating and forwarding IT infrastructure changes into the
capitol planning process of the Department of State. Once approved as a
project, the IT CCB periodically tracks and reports on the progress and
accomplishment of each infrastructure project change to the Technical Review
Advisory Group (TRAG) and the Management Review Advisory Group (MRAG). Project managers must use the CM process as an
administrative support function to improve the effectiveness of management and
technical activities in the system development process. User tutorials are easy to develop; it is important to approach the task in a step-by-step manner, going through all the motions of using the software exactly like a user would.
I´ve got two expenses from two different employees that are Approved but stuck in the status “In accounting review” for more than a week. Code can be mysterious to maintenance programmers who must maintain the system for years after the original system was written and the original programmers have moved on to other jobs [Graham et al. 2000]. A file used to validate username and passwords for members , librarians, and administrator when attempting to access the system. The username and password entered are compared with the username and password in this file. Systems people are also unique, in that they often use a lingo incoherent to most end users. A “dictionary” of terms used is beneficial in clearing up any misunderstandings.
- The expense reports will remain in this status until the auditors receive hard copies ( where applicable) and are able to review the expense report(s) using the applicable controls.
project is conducted in accordance with the life cycle model for planning,
managing, developing, and operating IT systems.
- Configuration management is used to maintain an understanding of the status of complex assets with a view to maintaining the highest level of serviceability for the lowest cost.
- All maintenance and modifications are usually variations of an agreed-upon baseline.
- Most important are a commitment to documenting software, setting standards for the organization, and making them stick that is, adhering to the standards.
- Those that do should add this information to the system documentation.
The project manager must introduce configuration
management (CM) controls into the project as early as possible, but not later
than the acquisition period. Configuration management is a methodical,
systematic management control system that identifies physical and functional
characteristics, controls, and identifies and reports changes. The objective
of CM is to control and document the physical and functional characteristics of
the elements of a system to ensure that total system integrity is maintained. Distributed documents must be organized such that users and programs are able to locate, track, and use online documents. The growth of networking brings with it a corresponding increase in the number of documents to be organized.