Software configuration management encompasses the disciplines and techniques of initiating, evaluating, and controlling change to software products during and after the development process. It emphasizes the importance of configuration control in managing software production.

Configuration management is an integral part of the software development process across all phases of the life cycle. It functions as a controlling discipline, enabling changes to be made to existing documentation and products in such a way as not to destroy the integrity of the software. Since configuration management extends over the life of the product, and since tools, techniques, and standards exist solely aimed at its proper execution, configuration management can stand alone as a module within a graduate curriculum.