How to Make Your Configuration Management System a Success
As far as information technology best practices go, ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) has become the de facto standard with many companies, and that list of companies is growing every day. Knowing ITIL and putting it into action and making it work for your business by implementing a Configuration Management System (CMS) is two different things, but there is a step by step plan that can help you.
Get Your Framework and Policy Together
This is the first step of the process. Start by naming a configuration management process owner. It is this person that will be ultimately responsible for the entirety of the strategy and process as well as the structure thereof. The process owner should begin by making a policy regarding Service Asset and Configuration Management (SACM). This policy defines scope as well as standard operating procedures and other basics.
Now comes naming the team behind the SACM policy and defining each person’s responsibilities. You have the configuration owner, who is the ultimate head of the entire process. Next you have the configuration manager, who oversees the processes and is responsible for the CMS’ daily maintenance. Next you have the DBA’s (Database Administrators) who perform the configuration management system’s daily maintenance and update duties. The configuration item owners come next, who are responsible for the attributes of the configuration items. Finally, you have the database developers, who are responsible for providing technical knowledge and are in charge of solutions.
Define the Uses
You will need to clearly define what the CMS is to be used for. Most often, a CMS is used for management of incidents, problems, events, change and release deployment, external IT processes, disaster recovery and service continuity, and many other functions. With clear definitions on primary uses, a business case can be better presented.
Figure the Record-Holding Uses
The types of records the CMS will hold depend exclusively on the uses defined in the previous step.
Inventory Current Data Repositories
You will need to take inventory of all data repositories, both internal and external to the company, and ensure you have full details on each and every one of them. Vital details include location, purpose, users, accuracy and fullness of data, support and maintenance details, and other essentials.
Inventory Available Tools
You have tools that can support the CMS, but they need to be inventoried and identified in regard to defined requirements as well as identifying which ones fall short of these requirements. Automate as much as possible to reduce error risks.
Categories and Naming
The configuration items have to be categorized and named, so figure out how this is going to be done. Having a standard for this ensures IT management process integrity. This is why categorization and naming should be standardized.
The CMS structure needs to be designed next, and should fall in line with the primary usage outlines.
There is always room for improvement from the initial implementation, so make a plan for an improvement process to be used later on after evaluations have been performed.