The program management element should identify the general contents of the two types of databases.
Their format, content, and capabilities should be adapted based on the identified needs and intended
uses. They should also be sized considering future needs by allowing for significant expansion of the
number of data fields and types of information. The program management element should also identify
controls for database development, implementation, and revision, especially those necessary to
establish and maintain the quality of information.
The steps to develop effective CM databases should include the identification of those databases that
contain CM-related information, the consolidation of related information into a few key databases, and
the establishment of control mechanisms to ensure data quality and accuracy. An initial study should be
conducted to identify existing equipment and document databases, their contents and uses, responsible
organizations, and locations. The initial study should reflect the results of, and may be performed in
conjunction with, other initial assessments.
On the basis of the initial study, an action plan should be developed to consolidate or eliminate as many
of these databases as possible. A typical facility has many separate databases containing similar
information, with minimal interfacing or administrative controls. As a result, these databases develop
errors and inconsistencies, which contribute to configuration problems. A desirable approach is to have
all facility information computerized, residing in a master database, and accessible from most locations
within the facility. However, the time and investment for a new consolidated database should be
weighed against the need to establish a few well controlled existing databases. In some cases,
especially where databases are well coordinated and controlled, few changes are expected. In other
cases, where many databases are in use, some containing offering data because they have not been
coordinated or updated, more changes are appropriate. Key conclusions, milestones, and schedules
from the database study and action plan should be reflected in the facility CM program plans.
Procedures should be developed for control of the quality of information within these databases (for
example, procedures governing approvals, validation and verification of information, access and
security, and revisions), and there should be methods for retrieval of that information consistent with the
needs of the users. Special controls should be Instituted to ensure that any database used for
Configuration management purposes will be protected to prevent inadvertent or unauthorized changes
of the data. To be effective, the data collection function would have to be integrated into each CM -
related process and specified in written procedures. Collection of the necessary data should be
facilitated and standardized, and should be consistent with the normal flow of information. Data
collection should be supported by forms that are designed to prompt the owner or user for the
necessary information in a format that enables ready identification of the specific fields as well as
verification that the necessary information is present, coordinated, and approved.
Equipment databases should specify equipment classifications, contain or reference equipment design
requirements, and cross-reference supporting CM information. These databases should provide current
information on facility SSCs and associated documents within the CM program, with emphasis on design
documents. An approach that has proven successful elsewhere is the development of a computerized
CM master equipment database that includes every facility component. Each component is assigned a
unique identifier based on system, component type, and component function before it is included in the
database. This database can serve as the primary source of descriptive, testing, and operational data
on hardware and instrumentation. Equipment databases are discussed further in the implementation
guidance for the design requirements program element.
Document databases provide basic information about the documents in the CM program. Both
document and equipment databases include some relational information that links SSCs to documents.
Document databases provide more extensive document-specific information than equipment databases,
including information on change status and related documents (such as change notices and physical