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Configuration Management Training Foundation

Training Dates

What Is Configuration Management?

Configuration Management is a key process enabling integrated product and process development and support.

A “configuration” is a relative arrangement of interconnected parts forming a system or piece of equipment. Everything in the universe has a configuration, including you and me. The process for controlling configurations is called Configuration Management, CM for short. CM is one of the natural laws that bring order from chaos. The average person does not give it much thought, but it’s always there in the background. Skydivers are instantly introduced to the effects of gravity the moment they step out of a plane. Likewise, when organizations design, develop, manufacture, assemble, test and maintain products they quickly run into the need for CM.

Experience has shown that CM is comprised of certain immutable laws just like the laws of physics. But instead of calling them laws, we refer to them as elements or functions. Five of these functions form the core of CM. They are generically called Configuration Management Planning and Management, Configuration Identification, Configuration Change Management, Configuration Status Accounting, and lastly Configuration Verification and Audit. These core five are the foundation of CM, but not the complete process.

Configuration Management is comprised of the five core functions plus additional considerations

Configuration Management Planning

Configuration Management Planning and Management

Planning is necessary because CM implementation must be tailored to fit different environments. If you don't plan it will not happen. A CM Framework comes from requirements found in various sources such as contracts, standards, initiatives, regulations and policy. The output of Planning is typically a CM Plan. Every program should have a CMP. After planning comes implementation, control, process improvement and management of your CM program. The 649-1 standard moved some configuration control tasks to this planning function.

Configuration Identification

Configuration Identification

Identification is very important. You can’t control something that has not been properly identified. How many User IDs and passwords do you have? Too many … that is an example of identification gone wild. Our job starts with identifying what we want placed under CM, those things are then identified as Configuration Items. Next we identify product structures, configurations, and baselines. And we also ensure proper identifiers are assigned to hardware, documentation, software versions, and changes, just about everything.

Configuration Control

Configuration Change Management

Also called Configuration Control by some organizations that have not adopted 649-B … Configuration Change Management includes running Configuration Control Boards and processing changes, controlling baselines, and dealing with non-conformances. CM plays a vital role as the gatekeeper for all change activity within an organization. The CM change process should be tailored to facilitate both engineering, service and sustainment projects. Many disasters in the news are the product of poor Configuration Change Management.

Configuration Status Accounting

Configuration Status Accounting

Configuration Status Accounting (CSA) is the reporting function of CM. Some reports are required by contract, and others are for management. CM is responsible for gathering data and metrics and creating CSA reports full of green, yellow and red dots. Management then spends extensive time trying to change red dots to yellow and yellow dots to green. I know your laughing! But this keeps them busy and out of our way. Many reports reconcile the build standard and build state of a system as well as track changes through incorporaton.

Configuration Verification and Audits

Configuration Verification and Audit

CM is responsible for two configuration audits, the Functional and the Physical. When the first production system is ready a Functional Configuration Audit is conducted to ensure a system actually functions correctly. Test results are compared to requirements and any non-conformance is marked for action. This is typically followed by a Physical Configuration Audit to establish the systems Product Baseline, which is used for sustainment and controlling future changes. Software goes through a simular verification process prior to release.

Configuration Management Planning

Management Responsibility

Just as a Navigator is responsible for getting a ship to its intended destination, Management is responsible for getting an organization or program where it needs to go. They are in charge and they hold the purse strings. Without proper Management support Configuration Management or any discipline for that matter is destine for failure. The first and most important job of the CM Manager is to win executive support and make sure they are committed to CM. If you fail, then nothing else really matters.

Configuration Management Planning

Software Configuration Management

Software is becoming increasingly more important and a larger piece of every system. And many people are predicting that in the near future everyone will code. This means Software CM is in demand and a skill every CM practitioner should acquire. The five functions of CM all apply to software, but both hardware and software environments have unique requirements that must be addressed. At CMTF we recognize those differences and offer a stand-alone SCM course and certification. Scrum and Agile development training will often omit Software Configuration Management from their course. This is by mistake. Our course fills in all that relevant SCM information you may have missed in other training, and is extremely important for anyone developing software today.

New 649 CM Track and Certification
One Course - Three Days

649-B CM PRINCIPLES, TAILORING & IMPLEMENTATION    Course Code: CM-649-B    3 days

ANSI/EIA-649-B Configuration Management Standard is the de facto CM guidance document for commercial and government enterprises. But implementation and compliance can be a daunting task. 649-B contains only a handful mandatory requirements (shall, will, must statements). 649 is a great foundation. But it puts the burden on users to structure requirements, tailor, and implement a conforming CM program from very broad CM Principles and "rational." No worries, this is where our course is different from others you may have seen. We go beyond teaching the content of 649-B. This course also covers 649-1, and will include NASA EIA649-2 and other standards when they are released. During this course you will learn strategic and detailed CM planning for implementing a 649-B compliant CM program:

  • New Certified 649 Professional Certification
  • Complete coverage of the ANSI/EIA-649-B CM Standard
  • Map the 649 principles to CM requirements, processes, tasks & tools
  • Get hands-on experience with our planning workshop
  • Includes CM assessment, CM strategy development and process templates
  • Use the latest tools to analyze -649 for strategic planning
  • Learn the applicability of 649 principles to your environment
  • Discover how to integrated 649 with other CM standards and initiatives
  • Includes both Commercial and Defense implementation of 649
  • Class participation encouraged, an informative time will be had by all!
  • Covers SAE/EIA-649-1 CM Requirements for Defense Contracts
  • Examines and differentiates the acquirer and supplier roles in 649-1
  • Learn how requirements and CM tasks are derived from the CM Principles
  • Also includes tailored 649-B/649-1 requirements for Commercial application
  • Defense acquirers will learn how to tailor 649-1 for their contracts
  • You will learn how to review a CMP for contractual compliance
  • Suppliers will learn how to respond, comply, and write their CM Plan
  • Hands-on tailoring workshop with 649-1 ANNEX A TAILORING WORKSHEET
  • 649 Certification upon completion of this course

At the start of the course attendees will receive our supplemental resource of CM information and application guide. These are used in class workshops and projects to reinforce concepts learned with practical examples and experience. These include everything you need to assess the maturity of your CM process, analyze the 649 CM Standard, and create your own unique tailored 649 compliant Configuration Management Strategic Planning Map. Attendees are encouraged to bring their laptops and handhelds to class for use in our workshops and projects. Everyone will benefit from completing our 649 Track and Certification. It doesn't matter if you are new to CM, already have CM certifications, work with hardware, software, documentation, government, defense or in a commercial industry, this track applies to everyone. This course includes hands-on interactive group experiences designed to facilitate long term retention of what you learn in the course.

Attendees will develop a CM Strategic Planning Map into a 649 compliant Configuration Management Requirements Document, CM Implementation Plan and CMP, specifically tailored to their environment, using the latest tools and techniques in class. For those with current CM plans, we recommend you bring them with you for analysis, validation and improvements in our workshops. You will not only learn how to write a 649 compliant CMP, but how to review one as well. In addition to presentations, team projects, and class workshops, attendees will receive individual mentoring by our internationally recognized speaker and SMEs. This is the only CM track in the world where attendees leave with certification and a roadmap for implementing a 649 CM program. Standards can be long and dry. Sitting for days listening to a speaker read slides or staring at a monitor can be painful ... the mind can only absorb as much as the rear can endure. That is why we teach 649 with the right proportion of lecture and hands-on interactive experiences. If you learn by doing, in a dynamic group environment, this 649 course is right for you.

LEVEL IV - Certified 649 Professional    Cert Code: C649P

The new 649 Certification is included free of charge as part of the 649 Track ... one course, a total of three days of training.

  • No other prerequisites
  • Exams after major course sections
  • True false, multiple choice
  • Participation in course workshops required
  • Completion and presentation of course project

Certification is granted at successful completion of CM-649-B. Completion entails participation in the course workshops, exams, and finishing the group project. Graduates receive a completion certificate and their name will be entered into the ISCM registry showing they have achieved 649 certification.

New Technical Data Management Course & Cert

We have created a new TDM course and certification that covers today's environment.

The Technical Data Management process has been around for a long time. The Statement of Work (S.O.W.) is the tasking part of a contract. But if you want something delivered, especially when dealing with government acquisition, another part of the contract is used, the Contract Data Requirements List (CDRL). The major function of DM is scheduling the creation, release, submittal, review, and archiving of CDRL deliverables.

The organizational structure of DM has changed over the years. Originally a separate organization from CM, then placed under CM, and now many enterprises are once again creating a separate DM. The main reason for this is the military and government have recently gone from just a few dozen CDRLs on a typical contract to hundreds of CDRLs.

At CMTF we have offered DM courses for over 20 years. But now there is a dramatic increase in workload and importance being placed on DM professionals. And performing DM today entails understanding digital data and new technology. For this reason we have created a new TDM course and certification which we think you will find very useful.

CM Standards & CM Zip Update

SAE/EIA-649-1 CM Requirements for Defense Contracts released!

SAE/EIA-649-1, Configuration Management Requirements For Defense Contracts, defines requirements for a defense enterprise implementation of the ANSI/EIA-649 Configuration Management Standard in an Acquirer/Supplier contractual relationship. 649 is a non-government standard void of mandatory shall statements, which are the basis of any contracted CM Program. That is why 649-1 is so important. It fills the gaps between CM Functions to Principles in 649-B and contract tailored CM requirements and implementation tasks.

The release of 649-1 brings both good and bad news. We now have a set of CM requirements that can be contractually imposed on defense suppliers. But that requires completion of the 649-1 ANNEX A Tailoring Worksheet, a daunting task for even an experienced CM SME. All those CM requirements must be tailored by the Acquirer. And the Supplier must respond to those contract obligations with a complaint Configuration Management Plan and implementation tasks. In addition, commercial enterprises, or those not in an Acquirer/Supplier role, are still without any guidance on how they can get actionable requirements and CM tasks out of 649, since 649-1 is for defense. A new tailoring guide and handbook are in the works, and will eventually get release. But we all know how much work it takes to go from a CM handbook to implementation. We currently have two CM handbooks, and it takes a lot of time and effort to get any real guidance out of those documents.

CMTF understands the enormity of the CM Planning task regardless of how many standards and guidance documents get published. We are currently working on a solution that will bring fully interactive learning into our courses. Our target rollout is October with our new 649 CM Track. Don't miss out.

SAE/EIA-649-2 Configuration Management Requirements For NASA WIP!

NASA has replaced their CM Std-0005 with SAE/EIA-649B. 649 organizes CM around five CM functions and 37 CM principles, but in a slightly different manner than traditional CM which formed the basis of Std-0005. Consequently, a new CM product, EIA 649-2 Configuration Management Requirements For NASA is in development. We will have more on this when it's officially released.


Configuration Management Training Foundation

The Configuration Management Training Foundation (CMTF) was founded by Mr. John Roberts in 1993. CMTF is the largest Configuration Management training company in the world. We have trained longer and trained more CM professionals than any other organization. CMTF also has the longest running CM certification program. This means CMTF knows how to conduct training, you will be in good hands at one of our seminars.

We only use true subject matter experts to teach our courses. And this is what really differentiates our classes from all the others. Our speakers have years of hands on experience in CM or their respective subjects, and they all have years of teaching experience. You can learn something from any speaker. But our courses have been compared to drinking from a fire hose of information.

Mr. John Roberts

A leading expert and sought-after speaker, Mr. John M. Roberts has presented over 900 Configuration Management seminars at Universities, to in-house clients, and at public seminars across the U.S., Europe, Canada, Mexico, Australia, the Middle East, and South Africa. Thousands of Industry, Defense and Government professionals have benefited from his unique combination of dynamic communication skills, technical knowledge and experience.

Mr. Roberts has over thirty years of Configuration Management experience on hundreds of commercial and military projects at Northrop, AlliedSignal, and the Lockheed Skunk Works, where he was the CM Manager on the F-22 Raptor. Mr. Roberts is founder and president of the Configuration Management Training Foundation and the ISCM certification and registry. Mr. Roberts is known world-wide for his top level executive briefings and unique insite on the future of technology and CM.

John Roberts Experience

Meet our executive team

The CMTF executive team has a world of experience. We understand training. Primarily a technical training company, CMTF offers a wide variety of courses both on site and at public locations. We provide consulting, assessments, and executive briefings. We are also developing first of a kind task planning tools. In the very near future we will expand our executive team to meet the current growth in demand, such as workshops on CM Implementation Planning and courses taught in Spanish.

John Roberts


Tracie Roberts


Andrew Short


Steve Sigmon


Our Clients

Configuration Management, like Quality, applies to every enterprise. In fact these two processes go hand in hand. Consequently our Clients include most government and military agencies as well as a diverse range of commercial industries such as medical, banking, manufacturing, software development, energy, transportation and academia. This is just a small sample of our clients:

Government Agencies

FDA, IRS, BIA, DEA, Federal Reserve System, SBA,
DISA, VHA, USPS, NTSB, NRC, Homeland Security

Major Corporations

Boeing, Northrop Grumman, BAE, GD, Lockheed Martin, L3, Google, Raytheon, Cisco, Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, Harman/Becker, Disney, Sierra Nevada, AST, SAIC

Military Forces

Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Army Reserve,
Air National Guard, NATO, ADF, RAN, RAAF, RSAAF,

Research Medical Financial Other

JPL, NIF, Caltech, GU, Teruma Cardiovascular, Karcher, SE,
BAH, ARUP, ReliabilityFirst, Aurora Sciences, Bridges,
Salient Federal Solutions, BAH, Zions Bancorporation


CMTF Partners
A world of opportunities await you as a CMTF Partner!
Host our courses in your country or partner on our CMTaskware tools. Contact Us

CMTF Partner Crown Management Consultants


Give your business a global reach with Crown Management Consultants services.

For nearly two decades CMTF has benefitted from a long-standing association with Canberra based Crown Management Consultants. All of our training and consulting in East Asia, Pacific Regions, and the Commonwealth are managed by Crown.

Crown Management services include project support in addition to training services. The Crown professional staff have considerable expertise in all facets of Project Management across all stages of the procurement lifecycle. All of their consultants have over twenty years’ experience in management disciplines within major Defence and Aerospace projects as well as within Defence’s minors and in Sustainment areas.

If you would like to inquire into our current course offerings in Australia or procure the world-class services of Crown Management please visit them at Crown Management Consultants or contact Crown Director and founder Mr. Andrew Short.

Andrew Short
0418 601 567

Thousands of happy clients!

Crown Management Consultants is a consultancy firm with a proven track record utilizing experienced professionals specializing in:

  • Project Management
  • Project Scheduling
  • Earned Value Management
  • Integrated Logistic Support
  • Configuration Management
  • Quality Assurance

CMTF Partner VisibleThread


For a limited time only VisibleThread is available to CMTF students at a greatly reduced price.

At CMTF we highly recommend VisibleThread as the perfect tool for Configuration Managers, Data Managers, and anyone preparing or reviewing CDRL submittals, including customers, contractors, and suppliers. With a single click you can generate a first pass MS Excel Compliance Matrix from any contract, Mil Std, CDRL, DID, or requirements document. This Compliance Matrix is then converted to a dictionary of terms, phrases and outline structure, which can be run against CDRL submittals for compliance, language, and outline format compliance checking.

How did I discover that Mil-Std-973 has 680 shall statements while EIA 649-B only contains 5? I ran those documents through VT and in less than 60 seconds I was given a report with every instance of the word “shall” in both documents. Try doing that manually. VT is not only the best proposal preparation tool, it also fully automates the CDRL review process. In the coming months CMTF will develop and post custom dictionaries for common standards, initiatives, and CDRLs and offer them as downloads on the student resources section at CMTF.com and CMTaskware.com.

Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to automate your TDM system with VT for only $1,500! Offer good for CMTF students only. A tool that otherwise would cost much more for a limited time only offered at a fraction of the normal price. Think of the process efficiency, scan plans, specifications, design documents, proposals, any CDRL submittal with the push of a button, and in seconds you can discover passive language, bad language, requirement compliance, format compliance, it is the most amazing tool I have ever used. And the learning curve is only a matter of a minutes. If you would like to inquire into VisibleThread please visit them at VisibleThread.com. To start using VT now contact Rowland Bradley at 202 438-5088, Rowland.Bradley@visiblethread.com, or just download the Compliance Management Subscription Form and submit it along with your check to:

1101 E. 33rd Street
3rd Floor, Suite #C300
Baltimore, MD 21218

Gem of a tool from Dublin, Ireland!

Anyone preparing or reviewing CDRLs as well as CM / DM Managers and IPT members need this tool:

  • Automate the CDRL preparation and review process
  • Review Plans for compliance, language and structure
  • RFP & Bid Proposal development and review
  • Doc qualitative and structural analysis
  • Web governance & audits
  • Marketing & communication clarity grader