Glossary – Practice Standard for Project Configuration Management


1. Definitions

Many of the words defined here have broader, and in some cases, different dictionary definitions. The definitions use the following conventions:

  • Terms used as part of the definitions and that are defined in the glossary are shown in italics.
    • When the same glossary term appears more than once in a given definition, only the first occurrence is italicized.
    • In some cases, a single glossary term consists of multiple words (e.g., configuration management planning).
    • In many cases, there are multiple, consecutive glossary terms within a given definition. For example, duration estimate denotes two separate glossary entries, one for “duration” and another for “estimate.” (There are even some definitions with a string of consecutive italicized words, not separated by commas that represent multiple, consecutive glossary terms at least one of which consists of multiple words. For example, critical path method late finish date denotes two separate glossary entries, one for “critical path method” and another for “late finish date.”)
  • When synonyms are included, no definition is given and the reader is directed to the preferred term (i.e., see preferred term).
  • Related terms that are not synonyms are cross-referenced at the end of the definition (i.e., see also related term).

Accept. The act of formally receiving or acknowledging something and regarding it as being true, sound, suitable, or complete. (PMBOK® Guide–Third Edition)

Acceptance. SEE Accept

Activity. A component of work performed during the course of a project. (PMBOK® Guide–Third Edition)

Approval. SEE Approve

Approve. The act of formally confirming, sanctioning, ratifying, or agreeing to something. (PMBOK® Guide–Third Edition)

Artifact. Information that is both concrete and tangible, such as a document or electronic file. Processes are applied to artifacts to enable creation, modification, and control. Often artifacts are relevant to phases in the project life cycle, such as a schedule during the planning phase or a risk analysis during the execution of a project.

Audit. A planned and documented activity performed by qualified personnel to determine by investigation, examination, or evaluation of objective evidence, the adequacy and compliance with established procedures or applicable documents and the effectiveness of implementation.

Baseline. The approved time phased plan (for a project, a work breakdown structure component, a work package, or a schedule activity), plus or minus approved project scope, cost, schedule, and technical changes. Generally refers to the current baseline, but may refer to the original or some other baseline. Usually used with a modifier (e.g., cost baseline, schedule baseline, performance measurement baseline, technical baseline). (PMBOK® Guide–Third Edition)

Bug. SEE Problem.

Change. Any occurrence of deviation from expected outcomes, where the deliverable is performing to specifications and the specifications are in error.

Change Control. Identifying, documenting, approving or rejecting, and controlling changes to the project baselines. (PMBOK® Guide–Third Edition)

Change Control Board (CCB). A formally constituted group of stakeholders responsible for reviewing, evaluating, approving, delaying, or rejecting changes to the project, with all decisions and recommendations being recorded. (PMBOK® Guide–Third Edition)

Change History. A description of how and why a revision of a configuration item differs from its prior version.

Change Implementation Board. A formally constituted group of stakeholders responsible for reviewing, evaluating, approving, delaying, or rejecting changes to the project based on implementation reasons such as schedule or cost.

Change Notice. A grouping of change requests. Groupings are normally based on like changes or changes to the same area of the project’s deliverables.

Change Review Board. A formally constituted group of stakeholders responsible for reviewing, evaluating, approving, delaying, or rejecting changes to the project based on business reasons such as strategic focus or business implementation plans.

Change Request. Requests to expand or reduce the project scope, modify policies, processes, plans, or procedures, modify costs or budgets, or revise schedules. Requests for a change can be direct or indirect, externally or internally initiated, and legally or contractually mandated or optional. Only formally documented requested changes are processed and only approved change requests are implemented. (PMBOK® Guide–Third Edition)

Configuration. Physical and functional arrangement of interconnected parts that form a system, a piece of equipment or a product. [Paraphrased ISO 10007].

Configuration Change Management. Ensures (1) regulation of the flow of proposed changes, (2) documentation of the complete impact of the proposed changes, and (3) release only of approved configuration changes into project products and their related configuration documentation. SEE Integrated Change Control.

Configuration Control. The application of agreed upon rules in order to ensure that all modifications to configuration items are submitted and analyzed prior to providing a disposition and that all such requests and changes are recorded in a traceable manner.

Configuration Control Board (CCB). SEE Change Control Board.

Configuration Identification. Selection of configuration items, and identification of their functional and physical characteristics. This provides the basis from which the configuration of deliverables is defined and verified, products and artifacts are labeled, changes are managed, and accountability is maintained.

Configuration Item. Aggregation of hardware, software, processed materials, services, or any of its discrete portions, which satisfy an end-use function, and whose requirements are specific and designated for separate configuration management. [Paraphrased ISO 10007].

Configuration Management (CM). Management process to establish and maintain consistency of a product’s performance, functional and physical attributes with its requirements, design, and operational information throughout its life [EIA-649].

Configuration Management Control. SEE Configuration Control.

Configuration Management Harmonization. Describes a condition where the configuration management system on a project manages unique configuration items in a way to ensure they do not conflict in practice, schedule, or resource usage; and where they share a common vocabulary needed for effective communications among stakeholders.

Configuration Management Plan. Configuration planning which outlines the overall processes and procedures to be employed for configuration management. Describes what (not how) configuration management must accomplish and what consistency must remain between the deliverable definition, deliverable configuration, and configuration management records throughout all phases of the project life cycle.

Configuration Management Planning. The development and planning of configuration management processes for the context and environment in which they are to be performed.

Configuration Status Accounting. An element of configuration management that consists of the recording and reporting of information needed to effectively manage a configuration item. This information includes a listing of approved configuration identification, status of proposed changes to configuration, and the implementation status of approved changes.

Configuration Verification and Audit. The process of ensuring the result of a configuration item meets pre-defined criteria (requirements). Establishes that the performance and functional requirements defined in the configuration documentation have been achieved by the design and that the design has been accurately documented in the configuration documentation.

Effectivity. Specification of the point at which a change will be effective. The effectivity is based upon the type of deliverable being addressed and is associated with either a date, a build, a release, a lot, or a serial number classification. (e.g. “effective date”).

Enhancement Any condition where a stakeholder (customer, user, developer, etc.) finds an area that may be enhanced or improved.

Enterprise Configuration Management Plan. Configuration planning which outlines the overall processes and procedures to be employed for configuration management at an organization or portfolio level.

Functional Configuration Audit. An audit conducted to verify that the development of a configuration item has been completed satisfactorily; that it is operational or useable; and that the support documents are complete and satisfactory.

Integrated Change Control [Process]. The process of reviewing all change requests, approving changes and controlling changes to deliverables and organizational process assets. (PMBOK® Guide–Third Edition)

Item. SEE Configuration Item.

Physical Configuration Audit. An audit conducted to verify that a configuration item (or group of configuration items) matches documented descriptions and requirements.

Problem. Any occurrence of deviation from expected outcomes, where the deliverable is not performing to defined specifications.

Project Artifact. SEE Artifact.

Project Configuration Management. A subset of project management that comprises the collective body of processes, activities, tools, and methods used to manage designated project deliverables or artifacts throughout the project life cycle. It consists of configuration management planning, configuration identification, configuration change management, configuration status accounting, and configuration verification and audits.

Project Configuration Management Plan. A project configuration management plan is a subsidiary of the project management plan. It can also be a subset of the enterprise configuration management plan, and will use the enterprise plan as a guideline to ensure compliance and integration with an organization’s overall plans.

Release. An action whereby a particular version of a configuration item or group of configuration items is made available.

Stakeholder. Person or organization (e.g., customer, sponsor, performing organization, or the public) that is actively involved in the project, or whose interests may be positively or negatively affected by execution or completion of the project. A stakeholder may also exert influence over the project and its deliverables. (PMBOK® Guide–Third Edition)

Technical Review Board. A formally or informally constituted group of subject matter experts within the project responsible for reviewing, evaluating, approving, delaying, or rejecting changes to the project based on technical reasons such as capabilities and functionality.

Verification [Technique]. The technique of evaluating a component or product at the end of a phase or project to assure or confirm it satisfies the conditions imposed. (PMBOK® Guide–Third Edition)

Version. A uniquely identified instance of a configuration item.

Version Control. A means to identify and manage configuration items as they change over time.

2. Acronyms

ASME American Society of Mechanical Engineers
CCB Configuration or change control board
CCM Configuration change management
CI Configuration item
CM Configuration management
CMP Configuration management plan
CR Change request
ECN Enterprise change notice
ECR Enterprise change request
EIA Electronic Industries Alliance
FCA Functional configuration audit
FMEA Failure mode and effect analysis
ID Identification
IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
ISO International Organization for Standardization
OPM3® Organizational Project Management Maturity Model
PCA Physical configuration audit
PCM Project configuration management
PMBOK® Guide A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge
PMI Project Management Institute
PMIS Project management information system
PSPCM Practice Standard on Configuration Management
SPC Statistical process control
WBS Work breakdown structure