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Introduction to Software Configuration Management

[document] Submitted on 12 March, 2017 - 20:57
Keywords configuration management software configuration software configuration management

1. Introduction
Title 49 CFR § 236.18, “Software Management Control Plan”, requires that railroads develop and adopt within 6 months of the effective date of the rule, and fully implement within 30 more months, a software management control plan (SMCP) for their processor-based signal and train control systems. An SMCP is a plan designed to ensure that the proper and correct version of software for each specific site and location on the railroad is documented and maintained throughout the life-cycle of the system. The plan further describes how the proper software configuration is to be identified and confirmed in the event of replacement, modification, or disarrangement of any part of the system.

1.1. Purpose
This document is intended to introduce the topic of software configuration management to personnel who may have never previously been involved with that subject or process. It provides guidance on various considerations for developing, adopting, and implementing an SMCP. It is intended for use or reference by FRA HQ and field personnel, as well as railroad or vendor personnel.

FEDERAL REGULATION REQUIRES THAT RAILROADS SUBJECT TO 49 CFR SECTION 236.18 DEVELOP, ADOPT, AND IMPLEMENT A SOFTWARE MANGEMENT CONTROL PLAN APPRORIATE TO THEIR BUISNESS CASE.

Developing, adopting, and implementing an SMCP is the responsibility of the railroad. The railroad, or a vendor for the railroad, may prepare it. FRA will not mandate any particular format nor actually approve the plan. FRA will however monitor the railroads development, adoption, and implementation of a plan, and will evaluate if the railroads plan fulfills the requirements of § 236.18(c). FRA will then monitor the railroads on-going compliance to their plan. Since the process and procedures are specified by the railroads themselves in their SMCP to best support their business model while meeting the objectives specified § 236.18(c), the expectation is that FRA will find that the railroads will achieve and maintain compliance with those processes and procedures. Situations of railroad non-compliance will be addressed as possible violations of § 236.18.

The Associate Administrator for Safety, or his or her designee, will have final authority to decide the suitability of an SMCP to support the requirements of § 236.18(c). Each SMCP will vary, depending on the individual railroad and property concerned. While the following guidelines have been written taking this into account, they should NOT be considered a substitute for good judgment, experience, and common sense.

Metadata
Version
1.1
Date published
2006-08-08
Language of Attachment(s)
English
Document type
manager's guide
Pages
40
Replaced/Superseded by document(s)
Cancelled by
Amended by
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Foreword

This document provides an introductory overview of the topic of software configuration management (SCM). It is intended to provide FRA headquarters, field, and industry personnel a basic understanding of the topic as well as general guidelines pertaining to the Software Management Control Plan (SMCP) as specified in Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) § 236.18. It provides a general outline of the type of information that FRA would expect to be found in an SMCP. The applicable Federal regulation requires that railroads develop, adopt, and implement an SMCP appropriate to their needs and consistent with their business case. The general guidelines in this document must be supplemented by good judgment in handling individual situations.

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