7 Habits of Highly Effective Configuration Managers

Service asset and configuration management might fall under the category of “boring but necessary” work. But if you are really passionate about it, you can make it “exciting and business-enabling.” In a post at his blog, Joe the IT Guy shares seven tips to be a great configuration manager:

  1. Watch for scope creep.
  2. Baseline your production environment.
  3. Share the load.
  4. Examine your lifecycle.
  5. Build checks into processes to verify the configuration management database (CMDB).
  6. Be honest.
  7. Assess your people.

Configured to Succeed

The more immature your configuration management is, the smaller your initial scope should be. Begin with just the business-critical IT services and then branch out accordingly. At the same time, take a snapshot of how the current production environment looks with these services, so that you have a point of reference later. And if necessary, talk to your suppliers about what data in their products they would deem most important if you had to go to them with a support call. Build the CMDB accordingly.

Change management can help you put controls in place so that configuration management proceeds in the proper manner. Change management may also be able to put freezes on changes at critical configuration management junctures, which is vitally useful too.

As it pertains to the lifecycle of change items, Joe shows there are many ways to classify status. Examples include “requested,” “authorized,” “purchased,” “in test,” “in repair,” etc. It is again a good idea to start small with options and expand gradually.

When it comes to conducting audits in configuration management, Joe says this:

When defining an audit schedule, look to the rest of the business for guidance. Do you have any regulatory requirements such as SOX and BASEL III, or any standards such as ISO/IEC 20000 that need to be adhered to? If so, they’ll come with defined audit cycles.

When preparing for external audits, one of the best things you can do is run an internal audit first so that you can correct any potential issues; or at least come up with a plan to improve in the case of any major findings. Ideally, get someone from outside your department to carry out the audit, as they will have a fresh perspective and there will be no room for bias however unintentional.

For configuration management to ultimately work, it needs the right people in the right roles. Having a configuration manager, configuration analyst, and configuration librarian are good starting points.

For additional elaboration on each of these points, view the original post here: http://www.joetheitguy.com/2017/11/01/the-7-habits-of-highly-effective-configuration-managers/

John Friscia

John Friscia was the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success from 2015 through 2018. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and grew in every possible way in his time there. John graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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