Configuration management (CM) is a field of management that focuses on establishing and maintaining consistency of a system or product’s performance and its functional and physical attributes with its requirements, design, and operational information throughout its life.
Configuration management was first developed by the United States Air Force for the Department of Defense in the 1950s as a technical management discipline of hardware. The concepts of this discipline have been widely adopted by numerous technical management functions, including systems engineering (SE), integrated logistics support (ILS), Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), ISO 9000, Prince2 project management methodology, COBIT, Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), product lifecycle management, and application lifecycle management. Many of these functions and models have redefined configuration management from its traditional holistic approach to technical management. Some treat configuration management as being similar to a librarian activity, and break out change control or change management as a separate or stand alone discipline. However the bottomline is and always shall be Traceability.
The Practice Standard for Project Configuration Management (PCM) is the collective body of processes, activities, tools and methods project management practitioners can use to manage items during the project life cycle. PCM addresses the composition of a project, the documentation defining it and other data supporting it. It is a baseline- and requirements-management process that provides managed control to all phases of a project life cycle. Published in 2007, this standard is consistent with A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge: (Pmbok Guide).