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TOPIC: Change Control and Configuration Control

Change Control and Configuration Control 3 years 3 days ago #15194

  • Daniel Dewart
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I was always somewhat confused about the difference between configuration control and change control until I started studying for the PMP exam a few months back. As with many technical endeavors, it is important to be able to speak the accepted “language of the course” in order to minimize confusion and maximize communications between practitioners in the specialty area. I wanted to provide my understanding of the meanings of both terms.


Change Control

Is what controls changes to the established scope, time, and cost baselines of a formal project management plan. These baselines are developed during the planning phase of a project. After the project enters the execution stage, any requested changes that affect the established baselines are reviewed and approved/disapproved by the Change Control Board. Approved changes will almost always trigger changes to other project documents; e.g., risk, resource, quality, procurement, stakeholder and communications planning documents. The Change Control Board reviews, monitors, approves/disapproves, and documents requested changes that affect the operational parameters of the project throughout the life cycle of the project. Changes requests can be submitted by any recognized stakeholder in the project.


Configuration Control

Manages changes to the product baseline. Configuration control takes place during the execution, monitoring & controlling, and closing phases of a project (subset of the five-part project management process groups defined by the Project Management Institute - Visual Paradigm, n.d.) and continues after the product is delivered to the customer.

During the Project. A change to the technical specifications of a product during the project management process will necessitate a change to the scope of the project, which will require a reevaluation of all baseline and project management planning documents as defined in the “Change Control” section above. During a project, configuration change requests are normally in the form of requests by the customer for a change in functionality of the product to be delivered.

After the Project Ends. Once the project is completed, and the final product is turned over to the customer, change control management ends, but the customer assumes responsibility for the configuration control throughout the life cycle of the product, performing the activities as explained in your post. Major changes to the product may require implementing a new project.

I think an important responsibility of the Configuration Control Board is being able to identify where change requirements exceed the configuration control threshold and the requirement to start planning for a new formal project begins.

Change Control and Configuration Control 3 years 3 days ago #15196

  • Ty Weston, PMP
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Thanks for the post. Was there a specific question you have or are you just making a statement?
I normally try to simplify the definition as this:
Configuration Control- Where you manage changes to product specifications. Like adding an extra feature.
Change Control- Usually where project processes or project baselines are manged. You would have things like schedule, cost items here.
Thanks for posting.
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