CM & DM tools on the market
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.
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:
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.
The new 649 Certification is included free of charge as part of the 649 Track ... one course, a total of three days of training.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:VisibleThread
Anyone preparing or reviewing CDRLs as well as CM / DM Managers and IPT members need this tool:
Inflection Point is where you can find reviews of up and coming technology for applicability to the workplace and insertion into our training. Trends come and go, and they are not always good. But the door to the future is opened by what are called “strategic inflection points.” A strategic inflection point is the point in time that something new replaces the old, like moving from DVD to digital download services. Adopting the right inflection point keeps an organization ahead of their competition, while betting on the wrong technology can cause you to stumble and fall behind. An example of this was the format war between Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD. Backers of Blu-ray bet on the winning technology. The winners are not always the best, but that is a moot point to business.
Years ago a lot of effort was spent on moving away from paper towards Interactive Electronic Tech Manuals, IETMs. Today there are new form factors that fit on a person’s body, leaving their hands free to perform work. This may bring a shift towards wearable devices that feed up audio and video step by step paperless Tech Manuals. No one has a crystal ball into the future, but we will do our best to bring the future to our classes so students can decide for themselves how they might be impacted. Web 4.0, SAAS, BYOD, iButtons, Near Field Communication, Google Glass, hear about it, see it, and experience it first in our training.
At Inflection Point you can find reports on our real world field testing of various tools and technology, including user reviews, ratings and experiences.
We put our Google Glass Explorer Edition through its paces at COMIC-CON and have an exclusive report on how well it performed at the popular event. It was difficult to walk ten feet without attracting questions or hearing someone say “he’s wearing Google Glass,” as if I had a real light-saber strapped to my side. At the Warner Brothers booth a few stars from the "Originals" looked up from signing autographs and also took note of the glass.
General observations after constant use over several days:
It has been a long time coming but CMTF v2.0 has finally been posted. We have a new logo, an up to date look, and lots of things going on.
As many of my students know, I had one of those life changing experiences six years ago. Diagnosed with Stage 4 Ampullary cancer with zero chance of survival, and given only a few months to live, I entered a clinical trial at UCSF and had what doctors call an unexplainable miraculous result. Through the whole experience I continued teaching and never gave in or gave up hope. For some inspiration check out the full story at “Once Around the Sun.”
Question what you will, but no one can question my commitment to training and mentoring CM professionals. The months ahead are going to be really exiting with the launch of CMTaskware.com and new planning tools!
In the coming months we will launch a new resource for Configuration Management and Data Management professionals at CMTaskware.com. The site is intended to be a one stop portal for people working in many fields. Everyone is welcome, it doesn’t matter what training, association, or certification you have. Please be patient, it is taking a considerable amount of effort to develop, but it should be worth the wait.
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One of the goals of CMTaskware.com is to offer a new type of tool, one that thinks for professionals and does most of the planning heavy lifting. More than 200 years of combined CM and DM experience are going into the design of these tools. A lot of work goes into planning and implementing CM properly. A CM Plan documents the CM Framework that an organization will use to implement CM on a particular program. To develop that framework requirements must be gathered from over fifty initiatives and standards, and then tailored to the organization’s environment and contracts. The task has become overwhelming. Our Zip planning tools will make the job fast and efficient. For example, in CM Zip you will answer a few questions and our tool will produce a CM Plan, procedures, checklist, compliance matrix, CM assessment guide, CDRLs, and much more, all tailored to your answers. We are in the early stages of development. If you would like to get your requirements into our tools join the Beta Program.
A Configuration Manager is the single point of contact for all matters relating to CM on a program. With the current environment this job has become very complex and difficult. The typical CM Professional is expected to multitask a workload that in years past might have taken three people to accomplish. CM tools do a good job of vaulting data, facilitating the change process, and managing baselines and configurations. They do not help with the implementation planning task. That is why we are developing CM Zip. It will work much like a Tax preparation application you may have already used. Answer a few questions and Zip will analyze applicable requirements and create your tailored and fully compliant CM Plan and supporting output such as generic procedures and compliance matrix … in a matter of minutes.
The typical program today has hundreds of categories of CDRLs and thousands of deliverables that must be prepared, released, submitted, approved, and archived. DM Zip is a CDRL planning tool in the early stages of development. Like our other tools it is based on a short computer assisted interview which forms the basis for the planning output such as a Data Management plan. It’s not uncommon today for someone to get thrown into a job for which they have very little hands on experience. And they don’t have time to waste, there are daily tasks to perform, and management expects the job to get done efficiently. But where and how to start? The Zip tools are like having your own personal SME mentoring you with the most difficult task, planning and implementation of your processes.