Configuration Management in accordance with defence industry standards

Construction projects in the security and defence industry are necessarily subject to high standards with regard to operability and usability of the systems to be developed. By building an integrated configuration management system at an early stage, product complexity can be handled in a manageable way and benefits can thus be reaped on a sustainable basis.

An internationally operating company that is renowned worldwide for its innovative technologies and high-quality products was commissioned to build several ships within the framework of an international, strategic development programme. Against this backdrop, we were asked to support the establishment of a uniform configuration management system in accordance with current defence industry standards.

We developed a four-stage process to guarantee full integration of configuration management into the development process and to support the team in setting up the necessary structures. In parallel with this, we supported our customer in the further development of the PLM system used throughout the project so as to ensure management of product data and processes on the software side also.

As a first step, a product structure was developed for this and its systems were evaluated individually. All configuration items (CIs) were thus identified – in compliance with the contractually stipulated configuration criteria. Selecting the CIs in the correct level of detail is also crucial for the various baselines in which the corresponding data and documentation for the configuration are recorded in a traceable way. When developing the overall product structure, care must be taken to ensure that the differences in the product structures of all stakeholders are sufficiently taken into consideration and are harmonised. In addition, consistent traceability is ensured by intelligently linking the structures during this process.

To ensure this traceability in the long term, our development experts implemented a comprehensive change management system as a second step.

This systematic configuration control describes a standardised process that evaluates, approves and documents all change requests and also monitors the subsequent implementation of the changes into the baselines.

As the third step, we set up a comprehensive reporting concept based on the implemented configuration monitoring. This concept seamlessly documents the changes introduced to the reference configuration and does so in a traceable way. In the direct implementation, our experts developed software solutions for automated reporting.

Finally, we supported the project team during configuration audits and reviews in order to demonstrate the implemented processes to the end customer and to prove fulfilment of the required configuration management standards within the framework of the audits.

The result: Together with the customer’s configuration management team, we were able to ensure the programme-wide introduction of the configuration management system. The customer then successfully completed all project reviews and milestones from SRR through to PPR.

We would like to thank the entire project team for their trustworthy collaboration on the project.