Is there an official Configuration Management Handbook?

oceanvoyager01's picture

Has anyone actually authored a Configuration Management Handbook? If so, can you provide one for me to look at or a template to follow?

The governmnet organization I am supporting has never heard of this concept and is determined to get it confused with a CM Policy and a CM Plan.

7 Answers

jptownsend's picture


I have been in the CM world for 14 years and I have never heard of it either. That's not to say it doesn't exist.



Drew Benson's picture

I have heard of a few things with a similar Title......

but they are all different.

How do you define your "CM Handbook".... What it does and whats in it - someone might then be willing to share a template for "it" (even if they call it something else)

Bob Aiello's picture

I have been speaking with another colleague about writing one for software and hardware CM. What would you want to see in a handbook?

My next question is what does a handbook give you that I did not cover in the first six chapters of my book on configuration management best practices (

Bob Aiello
Editor in Chief

bglangston's picture

How about Mil-Hdbk-61A

or the newer

GEIA-649 Handbook (addresses EIA-649-A National Concensus Standard for Configuration Management)

bglangston's picture

The first question in my mind, however, is this: Do you really mean Configuration Management or simply Version Maintenance (which many on here seem to construe as all there is to CM)?

Edward.Williams's picture

I have worked many government contracts and have never heard of a Configuration Management Handbook. I've worked Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), EPA, NASA Constellation Program, NASA Consolidated Space Operations Contract (CSOC), and others.

Do you have a contractual obligation to provide a "Configuration Management Handbook"?

There are many questions in this thread that are very valid questions that, if answered, can lead to providing you some information that can get you started. I have examples of many documents that I have written over the years. When you have the time to answer some of the very important questions in this thread we can help get you started.

bglangston's picture

Mr. Williams's response triggered another thought.

While many of us have not heard of a CM Handbook, it occurs to me that what your folks might want is a handbook that addresses your particular CM situation. Mil-hdbk-61A and EIA-649 Handbook address myriad topics with practical ideas for performing CM principles. However, the handbook your folks are wanting might be a set of procedures that cover the steps in your CM processes.

For example, you might have a procedure (with criteria and thresholds) for CI Selection, another for identifier conventions, one that explains the change proposal process (with subprocedures and instructions for each step in the process), one or more for various status reports, and one or more for verification/audits. I was once a member of a team that had several more or less administrative procedures for conducting the CCB - agenda template and preparation, minutes template and preparation, rules of order, voting, how to handle dissenting opinions, etc.

If that's the sort of thing they are talking about, it's actually well worth it in the long run because everyone knows where they stand.

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