Can we control the changes on a special artifact while our configuration management tool doesn't work properly? Can we do it ourselves?
Sure, only its more hassle and more error-prone too (not to mention it consumes way more disk space - although nowadays this may not be a big issue). Just as it used to be done before the advent of SCMs, you can always create and maintain separate directories / files to store subsequent versions of your file(s). Just you must always remember to make a copy before any changes. It is easy to forget it, or to mess up or misspell names, and the consequences are bad.
If you tell more details about your problem, we may be able to offer better advice.