Prince2 Configuration Management and Change Control

I remember, many years ago, attending my first training course on Quality. Management couldn’t get enough people to attend, so they bribed them with a free scientific calculator (back then worth about $200) – so I attended.

To be honest, I found it a whole lot more compelling than I expected.

After lunch on the second day, they had an expert talk about Configuration Management.

Well, she certainly knew her stuff – but I came away thinking that CM was a bit ‘academic’.

How Wrong Can I Be? Configuration Management is BUSINESS CRITICAL!

I’m serious. Would you buy another auto from your dealer if they weren’t set up with the right tools to service your car?

How about if they fitted the wrong replacement parts? Or if the Manual had errors in it?

There’s a famous story about the Space Shuttle incurring huge extra costs because European suppliers used the metric system and the USA used Imperial measurements. Tolerance errors built up and parts did not fit together properly.

Change Configuration Management would have stopped that from happening, and it would have helped to spot any such problems much earlier on.

Let’s talk about change control within Prince2

Changes usually come in three categories:

Request For Change (RFC). This is usually a request from the customer or users asking for a change from what was originally requested.

It may be a change to the requirements, specification, acceptance criteria, or scope – or all or any re-work – or accept some form of price reduction.

The final category is a general one. reserved for any general issues, observations or concerns (for example, my design engineer has resigned!).

All the above may be seen as just different categories of an Issue.

So what is Configuration Management? Well it’s basically an

internal service group with resources, tools, procedures and systems to control multiple versions of the products (deliverables) of projects.

Each product is termed an “Asset”. The name for the combined set of these assets is called a configuration.

And the configuration of a projects end product is the sum of its parts.

So why should we care about using CM?

Changes to your project WILL happen – so prepare for it. I was talking about Change Management, which by the way, should be under the wings of CM.

So when changes occur, your project will end up with multiple versions of a product.

If you don’t have appropriate tracking and knowledge of these versions, what was changed, and why it was changed, then your project is going to end up in turmoil.

Suppose you are a design engineer, and a colleague asked you for a copy of the specification document as they are about to design something from it.

What if you had changed the document in some way since it was agreed – maybe because you could see it was an improvement?

Your colleague now designs against this different spec to the spec that others are using – and his product doesn’t work or fit with other designs of the same system. Chaos Reigns.

How about this. A client rings up and says they’re using an old version of one of your products (because it’s compatible with the rest of their system), and can you build some more for them as a special custom order please?

You say ‘no problem’ – you go to your design shop only to find that they’ve lost the drawings – worse, the designer retired last year.

You’d have the same problem if customers said it had a design fault, and could you fix it, or if a customer wanted a modification based on an old design.

And the same problems could exist if you run a ‘service’ corporation.

Are your staff using the right tools, procedures and guidelines?

Are they trained to provide that service?

Let me ask – does senior management have a set of business plans based on a set of strategic directions? And do different parts of the corporation base their operational plans on these documents?

Sheesh! I sure hope they are all using the correct versions of these things…

Okay, let’s get back to your project, and how CM will help.

I hope I’ve convinced you that CM should be a permanent fixture in your organisation and not just set up by and during, a project (because the end products have got to be sustained during their whole life).

The person who provides the CM service is called the Configuration Librarian. Yeah, I know, it sounds kind of dated – but don’t let that put you off. This role can also be called the Configuration Administrator.

Here’s how they can help your project:

1. CM has a completed library of all items that have ever been produced in your organisation (including anything that has been ‘bought-in’ from a third party).

In modern times, these records will probably be held on a database of some sort. In the past they would have been held in hard copy form in a traditional filing system.

2. Each of these records will have information stating who has got what, where it is held, and why.

These records will also hold details of any changes made.

3. The library will also hold master copies of multiple baseline versions of products.

If you work for a small organisation and run small simple projects, then you would expect the way that CM is carried out to be small and simple too. As long as you have control of all versions of all of your products and services.

Next, I want to explain what services the CM Library can give to your project.

It is the project managers’ responsibility to ensure that CM is being properly used by the project.

To help ensure this happens a CM Plan can be created.

Note. For a small and simple project, the plan may just be a list of points to discuss and agree with CM.

The Plan may form part of any quality planning or be included within the Project Plan.

Do what is sensible – but here are the areas that should be covered:

A short narrative explaining what configuration method to be used (or a simple reference to the ‘usual’ system.

What corporate standards will be used (or why they will be varied in some way).

Linkages to any other configuration management systems (or any tools) that will be used. An example may be a third party who is contributing products to the project.

How and where the products will be stored. Are they just documents?

Or are they other physical items – in which case will they be installed on the customer site, or stored elsewhere, such as a bonded storehouse.

How will filing be carried out, and what is the process

for secure retrieval?

What form of version control be used – explain how they

will be identified.

Who within the project and external to it will be

responsible for implementing configuration management?

The Configuration Librarian will provide the FIVE

following services to any given project:

1. Planning. Working with the project manager, to establish what level of detail is required (this is dependent upon the complexity of the total end-product configuration).

2. Identification. Agreeing what products will be under configuration control (for example, the Project Plan may not be included, as long as the project manager has a simple ‘off-line’ system for keeping it under their own version control).

3. Control. Procedures to ‘freeze’ baselines of products and bring them under control of the CM library.

Freezing means no changes are allowed to the product without the right level of authority (for example the project sponsor).

There is another point to be brought out here.

Take the development of a new mountain bike.

One person is designing the wheels, another is developing the frame, yet another, the gearing system.

As each goes through the many design versions the others need to make sure the entire configuration of the bike remains ‘harmonized’.

The CM database will recognise such linkages and alert the team (via reports as described later in this article); of the relationships each product has to each other.

4. Status Accounting. This is the CM database for the recording and reporting of all products.

This goes back into history to the first version, and all the way up to the current version. This data can be given to the project manager at key points, such as an end stage review as accurate proof of the true status on all the projects products.

5. Verification. CM provides reviews and audits to ensure that the project team are using the correct versions of documents and other products during the project (and that they match the ‘master’ copies of such that are held in the library).

This should be seen as a service – not as ‘the management police’!

Finally, there are two important reports that the project manager will use from the CM Librarian:

1. The Configuration Record. This is a record of all the information required about each product’s status, and includes; the latest version number, who is creating the product, where the product is to be kept/stored, and what its status is.

2. Product Status Account. This is a report (usually requested by the project manager at key review points), and provides information about the state of all products within some defined time frame (for example “give me a report of all products and their status that have been created during the current project stage”

The PSA will, for each product within that time frame, contain data such as when each product was baseline and when any changes were approved.

Here is a short synopsis of key points within a Prince2 project when Configuration Management is used:

Planning Quality.

The Configuration Management Plan is created, prior to the

development of the Project Plan. The Project Manager to liaise with Configuration Librarian to discuss how the project will use/work with their Configuration Management (CM) System.

Setting Up Project Files

Takes information from the Project Plan, and adds project filing structure to the Configuration Management Plan. CM system may already have these facilities.

Authorising Work Package (WP)/giving work to the team

Update the Configuration Item Record to “under development” Configuration Librarian will do this.

Ensure the WP contains information regarding how version control will work for the developer, obtaining copies of products or product descriptions, submission the Configuration Librarian, and passing product status information.

Assessing Project Progress.

Capturing “actuals” and updating the status of products Configuration Item Record (CIR). Configuration Librarian can provide a Product Status Account (PSA) if needed.

Capturing and Examining Project Issues/Changes

Configuration Librarian could receive/document all Changes/Issues as well as maintain the Change/Issue Log.

Taking Corrective Action.

When any changes are to be made, the Configuration Librarian to make any products or their copies available, add new copies given out to the CIR, and update CIR for any status changes.

Receiving Completed Work Package (when the team have completed each product/deliverable)

Configuration Librarian to update the CIR to a status of ‘completed’.

Product is now baselined if not already done.

As products/deliverables are completed Specialist Team to advise Configuration Librarian to update

CIR status of each product.

Completing a Work Package.

Configuration Librarian to handle the return of completed products (if appropriate), and to assist Project Assurance in confirming customer/user acceptance of products.

Regular Management Reports

Configuration Librarian with assistance of Project Assurance to confirm the CIR is same as actual status of products by carrying out a Configuration Audit.

Also check that version numbers are correct/updated.

Replanning as a result of change.

Configuration Librarian will provide a Product Status Account of products to be replaced/incomplete.

New CIR’s created if needed.

Closing down a Project.

CIR checked for completeness, and used as an input to

Product Status Account – confirmation from customers configuration management records that all products are approved.

Refer to the Configuration Management Plan for how the products are to be handed over to those with support/operational responsibilities.

Carry out a Configuration Audit to check that all products are approved and complies with their CIR’s.

During Project Planning.

The Configuration Item Record is created with reference to the Configuration Management Plan.

A simple numbering system for each product could be structured as: project name/type of product/product name/source/status/version number

So for example, if a project exists to create a new notebook PC,and a unique numbering system as above is used for the hard drive bought in from a 3rd party:

New Notebook Project/hardware/hard drive/external/in development/vA.2

Here is a detailed guide of the information needed in the

documents referred to in this article:

Configuration Management Plan.

– CM method to be used

– Links to other CM systems or tools

– Where and how products are to be stored

– security arrangements for filing and retrieval

– Identification and numbering for

products/versions

– Who is responsible for CM

Configuration Item Record.

– Unique Project identifier

– The type of product (web, hardware, etc)

– Product Name

– The Latest version number

– A full Description of the product

– Life Cycle steps for product (ie.draft,

approved, in-service, etc)

– Who owns the product (User? Ops Manager? etc)

– Who created the product?

– The date allocated to them

– The library or location where it is kept

– product source (internal, external)

– links to related products (physical, electrical,

etc)

– status (where in the life-cycle is it?

– copy-holders and potential users

– references to issues (if any) that caused change

to this product

– any relevant correspondence

Product Status Account

– Project name

– Product type

– Product identifier

– Version number

– Product description – baseline date

– Product – baseline date

– List of related products

– Date copy of product was issued for a change

– Planned date for next baseline

– Planed date for next release

– Relevant notes (change pending/under review, etc)

Tips on Completing a Successful Business Credit Application

In order to establish your credit and keep your business attractive to lenders, you’ve got to make sure you build yourself a rock-solid credit application. There are few things to keep in mind when filing an application, so keep your head up and your spirits high.Business Plan: You’ve got to get any lender you’re considering stoked to invest in your company. The perfect plan will include a title page, company description, market analysis, products and services, operations, marketing plan, ownership, management and personnel, funds required to start your company, financial statements and projections, and any necessary appendices. The best plans are going to be able to explain in detail why the business is worth investment and what you can guarantee as its CEO.

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Financial Analysis and Projections: Any bank or personal investor lending you money is going to need to know what kind of finances you’ve already invested in the company and what kind of evidence you can provide to ensure your business’ financial success. You’ll need to provide your lender with a personal financial statement, a balance sheet, a profit and loss statement, and a statement of your business’ cash flow. You’ll also have to know exactly what kind of market you’re dealing with. Yearly projections take research and an understanding of your business’ industry patterns to make an accurate assessment of where your business will be as it continues to function.What the Lender will Review: Just as you know you like a song within the first 15 seconds, a lender is going to know if they want to give you money based on five specific factors: your ability to repay them, the capital you’ve invested in your company, the collateral you’re willing to put up, the reasons why you need the loan, and the overall appeal of the company and the borrower.

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When completing your application, keep in mind your business plan is only a written projection of your needs; what gets an investor interested is your business’ market appeal and your ability to sell it.

Looking For Homes For Rent to Own

On the off chance that you are searching for homes for lease to claim, odds are you are not in a circumstance as of now that enables you to meet all requirements for conventional financing. Maybe you are independently employed and unfit to furnish the financiers with two years government forms that confirms your wage. Significantly more probable is that your FICO assessment isn’t sufficiently solid to get a home loan now that the rules have taken care of to such an extent.

Whatever your thinking, getting a lease to claim home can be an extraordinary advance towards a positive future. However, there are a few things you ought to consider as you experience the procedure.

To begin with – ensure you are extremely inspired. Insights demonstrate that most inhabitant purchasers who go into lease to possess contracts never really wind up obtaining the home. Frequently, the reason is that they were not sufficiently genuine and thusly did not make a move to instantly start settling their money related circumstance.

Let be honest – credit repair isn’t a fun procedure. Frequently, you require money to pay off old accumulations and pay down charge card obligation. This takes devotee and diligent work and, lamentably, a large portion of us are more keen on delight today. In the event that you question your make plans to redress your money related circumstance, at that point you ought to most likely consider leasing until the point when a period in which you feel more inspiration. It basically doesn’t bode well to pay a forthright choice charge of in the vicinity of 2% and 5% of the home’s estimation in the event that it won’t help you in accomplishing your objectives.

You additionally need to ensure that the present mortgage holder is extremely genuine about offering you the home and not simply more intrigued by having a tenant who will pay them a forthright expense.

While most property holders would like to in the long run offer, there are some who publicize their homes for lease to claim essentially in light of the fact that they like gathering alternative expenses. They at that point structure the agreement in a way that does not give you the chance to buy the home. Commonly, this includes a transient (under two years) so you don’t have the chance to repair your credit. On the other hand, they may set the price tag so high that you are not ready to get a credit on the grounds that the examination won’t be acknowledged by the bank.

Anticipate Of The Best Antioxidant Supplements

Expectations of the Best Antioxidant Supplements

Once anti- growing older merchandise are carried out, it’s miles expected that wrinkles and great lines will begin to fade whilst sagging skin tightens as much as resemble the younger skin that turned into once loved evidently. The exceptional antioxidant supplements will do all of those things for users, however they also give a few in addition safety.

This additional protection will come in the form of a notably lower chance of growing cancer and different lethal sicknesses that typically end result from broken skin tissue and cells. That is absolutely something that cannot be received from other anti- ageing products available today. Unless they encompass high concentrations of high nice antioxidants, they simply might not be capable of compete with a splendid antioxidant supplement.

How to Get Antioxidants Naturally

Antioxidants are of course determined in some clean food sources, along with:

·Leafy Greens

·Whole Grains

·Yams

·Seeds & Nuts

·Fish Oil

·Citrus Fruits

The trouble with trying to get antioxidants certainly through diet is that very huge concentrations of antioxidants are required on a each day foundation to get the quality advantages. Most of us generally tend no longer to devour the kind of foods indexed above each single day. This way the general public don’t attain the extent of antioxidants they want to fight off untimely getting old and lethal sickness.

The human body cannot manufacture antioxidants on its own, meaning big quantities of antioxidants need to return from somewhere. If that someplace is not probable to be from extremely strict dietary selections on a daily foundation, it needs to be the first-rate antioxidant supplements.

The satisfactory antioxidant dietary supplements typically enhance power stages whilst protecting the body from the lethal harm of free radicals. This means they assist humans seem younger, experience younger and live loads longer than they may while not having the ones rich shops of antioxidants.

There isn’t any other approach to gain the antioxidants the individual’s body wishes on a day by day foundation, so anti- getting older products that consist of antioxidants are the pleasant manner to go.

A Successful Business Financial Projection Can Be the Key to Securing Financing

A business seeking capital can’t afford to underestimate the importance of business financial projections. A business financial projection is simply forecasting your sales and revenue to the lender. This information is important because it is a key indicator to your ability to repay a loan.If you are unsure about financial forecasting and how it relates to your business it is best to hire someone who does know. Most lenders will want to see a three or five year projection. There are 14 different items to include and fully support in your financial projections. With these different items it is best to give a month-by-month breakdown for the first year, a quarterly breakdown for the next two years, and an annual breakdown for the final two years you are projecting.The different items to include in your projections are; sales revenue estimates, administrative costs, production costs, sales costs, capital expenditures, gross margin by product line, sales increase by product line, interest rates on debts, income tax rate, accounts receivable collection plan, accounts payable schedule, inventory turnover, depreciation schedules, and the usefulness or depreciation of assets.

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The income projection enables the owner/manager to develop a preview of the amount of income generated each month and for the business year, based on industry supportable predictions of monthly levels of sales, costs, and expenses. When determining the total net sales you will be finding out how many units of products and services you expect to sell at the prices you are projecting. Make sure to think of what returns, allowances, and markdowns can be expected. The sales costs needs to be calculated for all products and services used. Ensure that when determining the costs of sale that you don’t forget anything such as commission paid to sales representatives, transportation costs, or any direct labor costs.For the gross profit you would subtract the total cost of sale from the total net sales. To get your gross profit margin you will divide the gross profits from the total net sales. This will be expressed as a percentage of total sales or revenues.When formulating your business financial projections there are five items that will ruin the accuracy of your projections, and hurt your chances of being approved for business financing. The first one is wishful thinking or being over-optimistic about your sales potential. Ask yourself: “Is it possible to achieve the sales levels you’re forecasting?”. A good example is that a sales team can only visit a certain number of customers each week or a factory can only manufacture a given amount of products on each shift. Make sure to keep your projections realistic and even more important to be based on supportable evidence. It is imperative to also make sure that your sales assumptions are linked directly to your sales forecast or your information will contradict itself. Most lenders are “by the numbers”, so if your numbers don’t add up, you will get declined. A good example of this is to say that you expect increased sales in a market that is declining. That just does not add up.

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Another thing not to do when projecting your business finances is to spend a lot of time refining the forecast. Try to avoid tinkering with the target numbers once they are set. Many business owners neglect to ask the opinions of the sales people who know the buyer’s intentions about what they think the projected sales should be. It is important to make sure your sales team agrees on any sales targets that will be set. One other fatal mistake made by business owners when working on financial projections is not getting feedback on the projections from an accountant.

Getting Your Dreams House Via Homes For Rent

Expanded get-aways alongside your family all through late spring or putting a couple of times in the family room and watching the timber being singed inside the chimney all through winter, these sorts of experiences you frequently fantasize may work out by having your own particular place which you consider as the fantasy house.

In looking for the fantasy house, there are numerous components you should mull over. Before you may proceed into more specific particulars, for example, the inside and outer plan of your home, you ought to need to register with your spending plan. That is constantly basic to set up a pragmatic add up to guarantee that you won’t not be baffled. Chances are at whatever point you select an extremely wonderful home, you in all probability might contribute a considerable measure of cash and you might not have the home toward the end just on the grounds that you’ll understand you won’t bear to pay for it. You should be keen in choosing a house. The finest activity to consider is to check for houses for lease.

You will locate various moderate homes for lease which you can find. A considerable measure of them are lease to-possess writes. The lease to-claim house gives a structure where a house proprietor will take the agreement to rent a lease to-possess house for the inhabitant, and the occupant may have the privilege to purchase the home just before the lease time terminates. With this arrangement, basic components like renting term, buy esteem, wellbeing store and month-to-month credit are joined inside the lease assention. You might figure why month-to-month credit is consolidated in the parts and discover it as an extra load too to the greater part of the focuses you are probably going to pay. Keep in mind that month-to-month credit is extremely a part of the general rent that may help alter the securing cost if the lease to possess is performed toward the finish of the lease.

An astounding home having a reasonable cost may likewise add up to literally nothing if your neighborhood will put your reality and additionally the lives of the relatives in danger. Your security is in danger when you migrate to an alternate home. Along these lines, the assurance of the surroundings should be taken a gander at and should be part in the few elements you require to consider.

Looking for shoddy homes for lease in the sheltered environment will be simpler for you with the movement of innovation next to you. Gone are the days which regardless you require to peruse every one of the pages of the daily paper looking for accessible homes. Scrutinizing your dear companions on the off chance that they find an individual pitching a property or welcoming occupants to lease it, moreover, isn’t a need. You may utilize the online world and search for web destinations which offer lease claim programs. Know, nonetheless, in settling on whom to manage on the grounds that being defrauded by tricks not just will irritate you, but rather costs to such an extent also.