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Configuration Management Instructional Material For Engineering And Management Students

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.291.1 - 6.291.9

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Paper Authors

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Nagraj Balakrishnan

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Michael Leonard

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Judith McKnew

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1526

Configuration Management Instructional Material for Engineering and Management Students

Michael Leonard, Nagraj Balakrishnan, Judith McKnew Clemson University


This paper documents interim results of a NSF–CCLI funded project to develop innovative educational materials in Configuration Management (CM) for use as a module in regularly scheduled courses in engineering and management. CM is a methodology for identifying the components of a continuously evolving product and its associated production system, to control changes to these components and to maintain integrity and traceability throughout the system life cycle. CM provides a means to insure effective and efficient engineering and management reviews, costing, and adoption for approved product and process changes. Doing CM well can have a significant influence on reducing costs and improving productivity.

Although professional development programs are available to provide corporate managers with an understanding of CM, there is little coverage of CM in typical engineering and management courses in universities. This may partially be the result of limited CM educational resources for faculty use. For that reason, we have prepared a CM Overview Module and Instructor’s Guide to be used in a one-to-two week segment of engineering or management courses. The contents of the educational sessions, outside readings, and recommended homework and project assignments are described in this presentation. Also discussed is the use of pre- and post- testing, and the use of an skilled teaching-effectiveness-and-innovation observer, to evaluate the effectiveness of, and make enhancements to, the CM instructional sessions and materials.

I. Introduction

Configuration management is a significant concern for any manufacturer. As a typical product progresses from prototype design to initial unit manufacture and then through the later stages in its life cycle, the number of changes made to that product in terms of refinements to component parts, part suppliers used, assembly methods employed, testing protocols applied, and maintenance procedures recommended can be very large. Configuration management is an organized method for engineering documentation control which provides a systematic approach to selecting product related information to be maintained, and provides structure and speed to the formal review, costing, approval and adoption of changes. In other words, “Configuration management is the discipline of identifying the components of a continuously evolving system (taking into account relevant system interfaces) for the purpose of controlling changes to these components and maintaining integrity and traceability throughout the system life cycle 1.”

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Balakrishnan, N., & Leonard, M., & McKnew, J. (2001, June), Configuration Management Instructional Material For Engineering And Management Students Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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