The Why and How of Corporate Configuration Programs

If processes have not been implemented, a change management tool is unlikely to yield benefit as it is largely viewed as a burden, but can help an org automate a process if you sit in front and try to figure out what you want to do. Configuration is a process for consistency of physical attributes with operational information, used by organizations to manage changes of systems. Configuration management is a systems process for ensuring consistency in an operational environment and seeks to track configuration items, documenting capabilities, while administrators and software developers can verify the effect to one configuration item on other systems.


Configuration software tracks applications infrastructure to ensure that configurations are in a trusted state, and the details don’t rely on knowledge of the team, providing thus a historical record which is helpful for management as well as debugging, increasing stability into changes that occur and streamlining a change process. Configuration management is an operational process and an enterprise need not adopt the ITIL framework as it is referred to as Configuration Management. We define it as something necessary to one’s professional task, but the configuration tools come in several forms for the sponsors, including practice methodologies, documentation, manual tools, and leadership skills, requiring the discipline needed to stand up and carry out CM.

Originally, ITIL V3 introduced the concept of a management system opposed to CMDB, which provides a system to support the needs of the governance process and demonstrate advantages over a configuration management text file that requires manual upkeep and cannot integrate best practices. CM provides control, verifying that it performs as intended, documented in detail to support its life cycle. Without validating its contents, it is an operational database, not a CMS, but the audit entitles it to be leveraged.


To qualify for the configuration category, a product should record changes to items, configure systems through files, track defects through control systems, keep a snapshot of a current state and roll back configurations. Source control has raised several questions such as how do we use it, how do we gain agility without merge processes and what steps can we take for the proper review. Due diligence, alignment and deployment are key to configuration management, which captures the state of a system, providing summations over the operating systems, applications and systems on the production floor, tracking even the most subtle alterations and allowing the staff to find and fix any part.


The minimal cost of a CM is returned in cost avoidance and an ineffectual implementation can sometimes have catastrophic consequences such as loss of life, as it emphasizes the relation between subsystems for effectively controlling change. Configuration Management is a technical process for maintaining consistency of the functional attributes with design information as well, and the systems engineers should have an understanding on how the organization initiates control, how the developer implements it, and how the government sustainment organization continues the management. Let’s consider the most pressing technological issues and cover guidelines to ensure successful management through a solid process.

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