Configuration Management for Transportation Management Systems
Final Project Tri-Fold Brochure
FHWA Report No.: FHWA-OP-04-016
EDL No.: 13888
What is Configuration Management?
Configuration Management (CM) describes a series of processes and procedures developed in the information technology community to establish and maintain system integrity. It provides a holistic approach for effectively controlling system change and is an integral part of the systems engineering process. CM helps to verify that changes to subsystems are considered in terms of the entire system, minimizing adverse effects.
The handbook entitled Configuration Management for Transportation Management Systems is intended to provide guidance for transportation professionals that are responsible for developing and maintaining complex Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and Traffic Management Systems (TMS). The handbook expands on the information presented here, by detailing the various aspects and components of CM, and profiling several ITS organizations that have effectively applied CM techniques.
CM in TMS - Current Practices
In the spring of 2000, a survey was conducted to gauge the use of CM by transportation agencies in the United States. The survey revealed that a relatively low percentage of TMS agencies use CM. Particularly notable was that only 27% of signal control systems reported using CM. The survey clearly points to a need to educate the TMS community about CM in order to realize a significant commitment to this valuable resource-saving activity.
Configuration Management Process
The general CM process, graphically demonstrated below, is made up of the following elements:
"With almost 20 years experience in the design, implementation, modification and expansion of our system, the benefits of quickly being able to recover from problems by returning to an earlier working state are enormous. Our system has been very dynamic, and there is always an area where we are working on an improvement or upgrade, while still actively managing traffic."
"As in any large, complex system, CM can provide a constant understanding of the current state of the system….The key factor in CM is having a central repository of information for reference as personnel changes occur over the life of the system. It is also a great aid in maintaining the system when items are replaced for repair. Technicians should have ready access to configuration data when installing or re-installing standard system components."
— Offered by respondents to a Spring 2000 survey of transportation agencies.
Challenges of Instituting CM in a TMS Organization
— Offered by Georgia Department of Transportation
The following nine principles serve as a starting point for any TMS to implement a CM process.
Resources and Training
"Configuration Management, applied over the life cycle of a system, provides visibility and control of its performance, functional and physical attributes. Configuration Management verifies that a system performs as intended, and is identified and documented in sufficient detail to support its projected life cycle."
— EIA Standard 649
For More Information:
Configuration Management for Transportation Management Systems is available on the TMC Pooled-Fund Study website at http://tmcpfs.ops.fhwa.dot.gov
For information on the TMC Pooled-Fund Study, visit our website at http://tmcpfs.ops.fhwa.dot.gov
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