Software Configuration Management (SCM)

The primary objective of the SCM process is to coordinate the use of software artifacts among project participants, making sure everyone is working with the same versions, and making changes in response to valid, approved requests. To accomplish this, Shell Method uses five main processes:



Classification: Each project artifact is classified as a member of one of the four configuration item classes.

Identification: Configuration items are assigned appropriate identifiers.

Storage: Configuration items are stored via mechanisms appropriate to their classes.

Change Control: Configuration items are modified in response to approved issues (enhancement requests or defect reports).

Revision Management: Each configuration item is revised in a manner appropriate to its class; archive items are never revised.


This Software Configuration Management Plan (link to printable version) fully describes this topic.

Key Terms

There are two key terms associated with configuration management: Artifact A discrete unit produced during software design or development, such as a document, code module, form, diagram, data file, or executable., and Configuration Item A controlled artifact of the software development lifecycle, such as a document, source code file, or executable..  Both of them focus on a definition for the term "item."  In the configuration management world, everything that is tracked is referred to as an item.