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Introduction to configuration management

With so many people and so many files, it's important to avoid version conflicts and mistakes

Configuration management is required to maintain control of the proposal in spite of changes to the files by multiple people

  • The CapturePlanning.com MustWin Process does not require specific configuration management procedures to be followed.
  • The procedures we provide are intended for those who do not have any existing configuration management procedures.
  • If you have existing configuration management procedures, you are encouraged to continue using them.

A proposal has a lot of moving parts.  The solution you are proposing can change.  Multiply the number of authors by the number of files contributed by each.  The contents of those many files are often constantly changing.  The assignments of people to proposal sections and consequently files change from time to time.  Even the requirement itself can change with a cascading effect on every part of the proposal that it touches.  Configuration management is required to maintain control of the proposal in spite of all the changes.

See also:
Proposal completion

These changes happen throughout the proposal, but have the greatest affect in the later stages of development, as you approach final production.  One overlooked file version conflict during final production can ruin a perfectly good proposal.

There are software solutions for file/document management, but lack of software is no excuse for not tracking versions and maintaining configuration control.  Automated approaches to document and configuration management can always be emulated using completely manual methods.

Likewise, having software does not free you from the burden of diligence.  No software approach alone will ensure configuration management.  It requires the voluntary efforts of participants.  People have to accept it and follow it constantly.

Whether manual or automated, a configuration management system can be strict and burdensome, or convenient but tolerant of risk.  You must decide what balance to strike for your particular proposal.  You may also choose to implement different levels of configuration management at different stages of the proposal.

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