Utilizing expert systems to improve the configuration management process
a proven key to organizational teamwork and a breakthrough in planning performance
Configuration management is a practice often used on complex private and public sector projects. It is also a practice which requires project managers that use a specific set of techniques to define, communicate, and control products and systems throughout the project life cycle, from initiation, through development and implementation, and to post-delivery maintenance. These are techniques that include documenting an audit trail of the change data and facilitating the tracking and controlling of all project changes. This article examines how expert systems--computer-based problem-solving systems--can improve configuration management. In doing so, it describes how expert systems work in relation to configuration management processes, detailing four different expert systems, developed by Northern Telecom, Consart Systems, Arthur Andersen Management Consultants, and Boeing. It also explains the problems with using--and in--developing expert systems.