CM Planning and Management - ITIL Configuration Management

Configuration management (CM) is a process for establishing and maintaining consistency of a product’s performance ,functional and physical attributes with its requirements, design and operational information throughout its life.The CM process is widely used by military engineering organizations to manage,complex systems, such as weapon systems, vehicles, and information systems.

CM is the practice of handling changes systematically so that a system maintains its integrity over time. CM implements the policies, procedures, techniques, and tools that are required to manage, evaluate proposed changes, track the status of changes, and to maintain an inventory of system and support documents as the system changes. CM programs and plans provide technical and administrative direction to the development and implementation the procedures, functions, services, tools, processes, and resources required for to successfully develop and support a complex system. During system development, CM allows program management to track requirements throughout the life cycle through acceptance and operations and maintenance. As changes are inevitably made to the requirements and design, they must be approved and documented, creating an accurate record of the system status. Ideally the CM process is applied throughout the system lifecycle.

The CM process for both hardware and software configuration items comprise five distinct disciplines. These disciplines are carried out as policies and procedures for establishing baselines and performing a standard change management process.

  • CM Planning and Management: A formal document and plan to guide the CM program that includes items such as: Personnel; Responsibilities and Resources; Training requirements; Administrative meeting guidelines, including a definition of procedures and tools; base lining processes; Configuration control and Configuration status accounting; Naming conventions; Audits and Reviews; and Subcontractor/Vendor CM requirements.
  • Configuration Identification (CI): Consists of setting and maintaining baselines, which define the system or subsystem architecture, components, and any developments at any point in time. It is the basis by which changes to any part of an information system are identified, documented, and later tracked through design, development, testing, and final delivery. CI incrementally establishes and maintains the definitive current basis for Control and Status Accounting (CSA) of a system and its configuration items (CIs) throughout their lifecycle (development, production, deployment, and operational support) until disposal.
  • Configuration Control: Includes the evaluation of all change requests and change proposals, and their subsequent approval or disapproval. It is the process of controlling modifications to the system’s design, hardware, firmware, software, and documentation.
  • Configuration Status Accounting: Includes the process of recording and reporting configuration item descriptions (e.g., hardware, software, firmware, etc.) and all departures from the baseline during design and production. In case of suspected problems, the verification of baseline configuration and approved modifications can be quickly determined.
  • Configuration Verification and Audit: An independent review of hardware and software for the purpose of assessing compliance with established performance requirements, commercial and appropriate military standards, and functional, allocated, and product baselines. Configuration audits verify the system and subsystem configuration documentation complies with their functional and physical performance characteristics before acceptance into an architectural baseline.

ITIL configuration management

Implementing ITIL configuration management involves both benefits and challenges

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