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An updated standard in the ISO 9000 family provides organizations with guidelines for "configuration management" to help them improve customer satisfaction and product quality by managing the activities related to product design and maintenance.

Published by ISO (International Organization for Standardization), ISO 10007:2003, Quality management systems - Guidelines for configuration management, will provide organizations with a better understanding of, and control over, the physical and functional changes to products as well as the subsequent effects on documents, processes and resources throughout their life cycle.

For example, the components of a vehicle are heavily interrelated and any change made to one part of the vehicle may have profound impacts on another, including the documentation as well as the cost, schedule, and technical impact on the entire vehicle as a whole. Configuration management attempts to identify all affected processes and documentation of the physical and functional changes over a product's life cycle in order to mitigate or eliminate any adverse effects.

"Configuration management is a management technique that is used to improve an organization's ability to manage a product efficiently and ISO 10007 provides a structure for the management of this technique," said Lorri Hunt, Convenor of the working group that updated the standard.

The standard provides a "road map" for applying configuration management to all stages in the life of any product, in any sector, regardless of the size, complexity and nature of the product, and its environment. It can be used by organizations to meet the requirements for product identification and traceability requirements in ISO 9001:2000 (quality management systems) - although its use is not a requirement of that standard.

ISO 10007:2003 replaces ISO 10007:1995. By improving the alignment with ISO 9001:2000 and integrating the process-based approach, ISO 10007 will serve as a strategic tool for any manager or professional in pursuit of realizing their product objectives.

Elizabeth Gasiorowski-Denis
Elizabeth Gasiorowski-Denis

+41 22 749 03 25
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