Eddie R. Williams, PMP
Book Title: Software/Firmware Configuration Management (Within the System Development Process)
Subtitle: Management Control & Quality
Being an IT professional for over 20 years and now a published author and coach, I became very concerned about the high failure rate of projects within the IT industry. I had worked on government, aerospace, and commercial projects/contracts and saw a trend, although more prevalent in the commercial environment. I had enjoyed a very interesting and successful career managing projects while documenting lessons learned, but I was concerned that lessons learned were not being widely used throughout the IT industry. I saw commercial IT businesses (at the time called information systems) rush to employ individuals with technical skills such as programming and testing. But that rush, that brought some success in the beginning, began to reveal some deficiencies and problems for engagements and complex or extensive projects. Several major problems existed: not understanding the practices/processes that were required to manage a project to a successful conclusion; the improper or incorrect interpretation, translation, definition of these processes; what the processes meant and how they were implemented (requiring knowledge transfer).
Businesses thought about implementation but not what it took/takes to manage and control a system or product’s development to a successful completion, delivery/deployment: a significant development process and methodology, project management (including business management), quality assurance (verification and validation) and configuration management (the \”Missing Link\” in many failed projects but one of the most important processes that contributes to a project\’s success). On a side note. If configuration management had been implemented throughout all industries properly, we would not have spent the kind of money we spent for Y2K. The technical documents, specifications, and listings of code would have been available and up-to-date.
In the book I talk about software and firmware configuration management and quality assurance processes, their meaning, and why without the processes many projects are doom to fail. The word “configuration” in Configuration Management (CM) identifies the functional (system or product requirements) and physical (the design solution) for a developed product. But when transferred for use in the commercial IT industry, it was only being used in many cases just for on-line control of software, application, and systems after the product was created (developed) and implemented. Requirements, change/configuration control, and certain security elements were missing. The book begins to correct the miss use of configuration management and quality assurance (the check and balances for a project, ensuring compliance with contracts and specifications). The two processes go hand in hand to build in quality and to ensure quality was built in systems and products.