August, 2021

In our recent CMsights article on “Lessons Learned from Implementing Configuration Management” we began sharing the most common mistakes CMstat has witnessed others make — and learn from the hard or easy way — when developing then executing their configuration management plan.

By far the most common error was that of senior-level managers mistakenly believing their organization was ready to proceed with a CM strategy before everyone was adequately educated, prepared and trained to do so. In our experience it is not atypical that some executives erroneously think of CM as a PDM software feature or addon PLM module that just has to be “turned on” with the push of a button and then used primarily by the resident “CM guru” working largely undisturbed in a silo.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Too often the education and training of the entire organization — including important concepts, standards, best practices and performance metrics — is underappreciated by executives then neglected until the end by program or product managers. Not surprisingly, the effort required is underestimated when it comes to the planning of budgets and scheduling of project milestones. This myopia can derail a CM implementation which disrupts a new product launch or program delivery date despite the best professionals with even the most conservative expectations.

By training we don’t mean that the designated CM expert is sufficiently trained on CM principles or CM software, but that the organization as a whole fully understands and is aligned on the enterprise role of CM that goes far beyond engineering change control. Read more about this type of CM education in our Configuration Management Primer for A&D Project Managers.

Configuration management training is an on-going journey never fully completed, even for the most technically-capable and process-mature organizations. So how does one know when they do or do not have a sufficient level of training? Start by listening to this short discussion between Lisa Fenwick, Vice President of Development for CMstat, and Conrad Baranowski, a retired NDIA-certified Configuration Manager with over 40 years of experience working in the CM field for a major Aerospace & Defense contractor.  Watch the video now below or on CMstat’s YouTube Channel. 

To learn more about the Configuration Management training and consulting services that CMstat offers, visit our Consulting & Services pages. There you will find reference links to important CM standards and training organizations such as CMPIC and the Institute for Process Excellence.

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