TMC PFS Projects
CM Tools and Training
Additional Resources and Training
Summary Guidance Principals
The following implementation guidance summaries distill all the information
and recommendations provided earlier into a small number of essential
guiding principles of a CM program. They combine information found in
technical literature and standards with interviews of transportation professionals
experienced with configuration management. The summaries are designed
to help transportation officials apply these principals to TMSs.
- A CM manager should determine the agency's level of configuration
identification (part, subassembly, assembly, unit, group, set, subsystem,
system) based on the complexity of its system and the anticipated
frequency of change.
- A tool, which can be anything from an extensive database to a spreadsheet,
is the best way to keep track of configuration item information.
- For software, a tool that allows code to be checked in and out is
essential to maintaining system integrity.
- Having a centralized authority, which determines configuration items
and the necessary information to collect on each leads to a more standardized
and accountable system.
- CCBs should be established to make decisions regarding changes to
- The CCB should have personnel from various departments and areas of
expertise so that proposed changes may be reviewed from many perspectives.
- Agencies should use a formal change control procedure to ensure consistency
- After a change report is submitted, a CCB member or designated staff
member should acquire and distribute the necessary information regarding
the effects of the proposed change before the CCB meets.
- Tools should be used to help personnel keep track of changes in an
Configuration Status Accounting
- All changes should be recorded with detailed information, which can
be used to determine whether the change was implemented according to
- A robust software tool should be used in carrying out all CSA activities.
CSA should highlight any differences between a proposed change and the
change as implemented.
- CSA reports should be used to assess the current status of a system.
- The appropriate personnel as chosen by the CCB should conduct configuration
audits on a regular basis in order to ensure that the adopted CM policies
are being used.
- The auditor is responsible for documenting the findings and initiating
the necessary changes.
- Audits should be conducted in a standardized environment, which describes
the auditor's responsibilities and supporting paperwork.
- A CM program requires a CM plan.
- The development of a CM plan must include the active involvement of
TMS agency staff.
- Use the following document to guide plan development: CM Plans: The
Beginning of your CM Solution (Bounds and Dart, 2001).
- Use a standard to guide development. Recommended: the IEEE Standard
for Software Configuration Management Plans (IEEE Std 828-1990).
- Put the majority of the effort into crafting CM procedures that work
for the agency and TMS.
- Start small—be sure to include essential elements and do not
seek to address every possible system change scenario.
- Put the CM plan under CM control.
- Keep formal baselines throughout the system life cycle.
- The establishment and maintenance of baselines begins at the concept
of operations stage.
- Require contractors and consultants to deliver baselines as appropriate
for the life cycle stage of the system.
- Above all else, concentrate on maintaining complete, up-to-date documentation
Establishing a CM Program
- A CM champion is needed.
- Ideally, incorporate CM during the requirements and development phases.
- CM program begins with educating decision makers and staff on the
realities of CM and the benefits of a CM program.
- Be sure all involved understand that CM is an ongoing program, not
a short-term project.
- The TMS system/facility manager must play an active role in CM administration.
- The roles of all personnel must be clearly defined and the relationships
among them must be understood.
- The CM plan should clearly state specific tasks and requirements of
all personnel involved in CM administration.
- The personnel involved in the administration of a CM program must
have a variety of focus areas including: management, planning, financial,
- A CM manager, employed by the transportation agency, must be formally
established to lead the CM program.
- The CM manager will be the chair of the CCB.
- The CM manager should be an individual with an appreciation for technical
considerations and who has a sound understanding of personnel, operations,
and budgeting issues within the TMS.
- Consider basic Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) needed when
selecting any staff member to be involved in CM program.
- CM manager must have strong TMS experience. CM experience is preferable,
but in-depth training can be used as a substitute.
- CM facilitator must have experience with CM programs.
- Consider requiring the CM facilitator to be CMII Certified.
- Expect CM planning to require between 1–12 person months of
- Annual costs of a CM program are generally 5–8 percent of initial
- Ongoing CM costs include staff time, consultant support, tool purchase/maintenance
fees, and training.
System Life Cycle
- Configuration management should begin at the concept of operations
stage of system development.
- Require consultants and contractors to deliver products that meet
the requirements set forth in the configuration management plan.
- Agencies that have started late should not try to "catch up." Simply
begin applying configuration management as appropriate for the system's
life cycle stage.
- It is rarely too late to implement CM and reap the benefits.
- An agency should carefully consider its level of system "ownership."
Systems that require minimal CM activities do not warrant the purchase
of high-end tools.
- Agencies should survey currently available tools. The INCOSE Web site
provides a convenient place to begin this effort: (www.incose.org)
- Key issues to consider when choosing a CM tool include:
- how many seats (licensed users) will need to be supported.
- the need for a high skill level to effectively use tools. (PLANET
estimates that it takes 6-12 months to become proficient with their
- including the use of the tool and the purchase of the tool in
operations and maintenance contracts.
- An agency should expect to spend 10 to 15 percent of original software
cost on annual tool maintenance fees.
- The case study of GDOT presented in the next section provides excellent
guidance on the process an agency should follow in choosing a tool for
a particular CM program.
- Provide awareness-level training for all staff involved in CM.
- Provide targeted training for key staff with essential CM responsibilities.
- The CM manager should lead the training program.
- Training must continue as the CM program continues.