I'm studying for the PMP exam and I have some understanding what these objects are and what the differences between them are.

Can someone explain, maybe with some examples? Thanks.

Change Control System: A set of procedures that describes how modifications to the project deliverables and documentation are managed and controlled.

Change Control Tools: Manual or automated tools to assist with change and/or configuration management. At a minimum, the tools should support the activities of the CCB.

Configuration Management Plan: A component of the project management plan that describes how to identify and account for project artifacts under configuration control, and how to record and report changes to them. (What document I need to track for change)

Configuration Management System: A collection of procedures used to track project artifacts and monitor and control changes to these artifacts. (Tools for track the identified document)

2 Answers 2


At its simplest level, Change Control usually refers to changes to the project. In the unlikely event that the project delivers exactly what was originally requested and agreed, then there would be no need for change control. Changes should be approved by the Change Control Board (or equivalent) - the CCB that you mention in the question. The Change Control System is the set of processes and procedures that are required to allow changes to be identified, defined, presented for approval, scheduled, and implemented. The Change Control Tools are simply things that help with these processes: databases, lists, spreadsheets, word documents, etc.

Configuration Management, on the other hand, is all about the things that the project will deliver: typically hardware and software, but also new business processes, documents, etc. The project may also remove existing hardware and software, or eliminate processes. Any such changes should be recorded in the Configuration Management System, and the means of determining the scope of these changes, and responsibilities for recoding these changes, should be documented up front in the Configuration Management Plan, if your project standards require such a thing.

  • So I can say that change control is about project and configuration management is about product? On the change you have the set of process that say what to do in the "change control system" and then you have tools to help it. About the configuration you have a Plan that say what to do. In addition you have a Configuration management system to track this changes. Did i write it right?
    – Neptune
    Commented Apr 11, 2021 at 15:18
  • @Neptune -yes, I think your summary is pretty good. I would just add that the configuration management system isn't just about tracking changes within the project - it can be used afterwards in steady state operation to help with impact assessment for future projects, and to help to manage such things as licences, software upgrades, hardware replacement programmes, and so on. It isn't just a project artefact.
    – Iain9688
    Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 9:34

I would define the Change Control System as the entire capability that would include policies, process, and procedures; tools to include a tracking capability, forms, metrics; human resources that are directly involved; and trained project human resources that are involved in some way as stakeholders.

Change tools are those things that enable tracking changes, analyzing change impacts, capturing change elements such as different forms, and policy and procedures.

Configuration Plans would describe the who, what, where, when, and how project work products are controlled as these are developed. The Configuration Management System, like the Change Control System, would describe the entire capability and would include the same things I listed above.

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