It does sound really big and confusing, but what configuration management is, is simple. It’s the process of making sure that a product is going to remain functional throughout its life. The optimum productivity of a product needs to be figured out, and then the engineers will use configuration management to ensure that the product remains at that consistency for as long as it is active.
Configuration management is used for things like roads, bridges, and dams to ensure they remain in place and do their job to the best of their ability. Once configuration management is attached to a product or item, the durability of the item can be checked and any potential problems can be averted almost before they start. Plus, if changes need to be made, the relationships between the various parts of the managed item can be understood deeply. This can also let people run tests and truly understand how the proposed change would help or harm the target.
This is especially useful in terms of software, where software configuration management can establish a baseline for how a piece of machinery is supposed to work, and then the piece of software can be monitored. If something goes wrong, then the problem can be fixed, and if something is working really well, the benefit can be replicated across the same machine in different locations.
Configuration management, no matter what, is a great way to measure the long term stability of a product and has been used in various scenarios to make sure that an item designed for long term use can handle long term use. Without it, we’d suffer confusion, breakdowns, and other problems to things that are supposed to last. No one wants to have to deal with that, because it would be chaos!