Some PRINCE2 students struggle to get their head around configuration management. Unless you have previously worked in something like the IT industry, it is often a whole new aspect to you. Furthermore, the information in the official 6th edition manual (page 142) is pretty brief (their used to be a bit more in the 2009 version of PRINCE2).
Our foundation course does have a unit on the topic under the change theme.
In case you don’t have our foundation course, let’s elaborate here for you. There are 5 activities commonly associated with Configuration Management – people sometimes use the (slightly weird!) acronym of Perhaps I Can See Vampires to try to remember them!
Perhaps = Planning. This entails thinking ahead regarding how much control is required / is some specialist software required because there are so many parts to keep track of etc? On a PRINCE2 project this is largely done when creating the Change Control Approach.
I = Identification. This activity is about being able to identify the parts / products you want to keep track of – so setting up some kind of numbering / coding system and will enable you to baseline an individual product and uniquely identify each product (with the correct versioning etc). When there is a change – identification will help you identify important links between products – so if one product needs to be changed – what other products might also need to be changed. Vital when assessing the potential impact / cost of a change.
Can = Control. Putting in place approval mechanisms for a product’s progress & change. i.e. who can access / change a product (keeping things safe) & who ’owns’ a product – can authorise it’s change – especially when ’live’
See = Status Accounting. This entails extracting information (a report) from a configuration management system regarding the status of product(s). What status they are at a given point in time. These can be ad-hoc reports, they can be about a single product (perhaps you are concerned about a particular product & want to examine information about it) or a group of them – for example a check at a Stage Boundary that all products created during that stage are at a status of ’approved’.
‘Vampires’ = Verification and Audit, which is about making sure that your configuration management system is working / being properly implemented – it’s a bit like a ‘stock-take’ – checking that products are where they should be, have the correct status etc.
2 more things to know regarding configuration management is the difference between Configuration Item Records 9CIR) & Product Status Account.
CIR’s – is a database record about a SINGLE configuration item (CI). it helps track things like current version of the CI, links to other CI’s (if something has to change), who currently has a copy and links to issue (reports) in case you retrospectively need to look up why a CI was changed.
Product Status Accounts are reports on the status of products! If you want information on more than one CI – the CIR will not help you as it’s about a single item – you need to run this report against your configuration system. The report can be scheduled (commonly end of stage) or ad hoc if you are worried about something & want data. You set the parameters of the report – for example – it could be about all of the products for the project, for a single stage, even a single product & the report pulls out whatever data you choose.
Hopefully that helps answer most of your questions on this topic!
0 responses on "Understanding Configuration Management"