Configuration Management

Description/Summary

In the Configuration Management all CIs according to a service will be processed. Configuration Management provides the data used by all other ITSM processes. The data is used for e.g.:

  • Identify and progress incidents
  • Assess the impact of an incident
  • Identify faulty equipment
  • Identify the users affected by potential problems

The data is stored and processed within a Configuration Manangement System (CMS) with interfaces to all other ITSM processes. The CMS also contains information about which support group should be assigned to which categories of incident. Incident Management can maintain the status of faulty CIs.

Several ITSM Processes can assist Configuration Management to audit the infrastructure for e.g.:

  • when working to resolve an incident
  • when working to investigate a problem
  • when implementing a change

Configuration Management in ...

  • ITIL V2: part of Service Support
  • ITIL V3: part of Service Transition (SACM)

Objectives

The purpose of Configuration Management is to identify, record, control, report, audit and verify service assets and configuration items, including baselines, versions, constituent components, their attributes, and relationships. Efficiently and effectively supporting the Service Management processes by providing accurate configuration information. There is a very close cooperation and teamwork with the Change Management process.

One of the main objective is ensuring, managing and protecting the integrity of the assets and configuration items (CIs) and their relations required to control the services .

Roles & Functions

Service Request Management specific roles

Static Process Roles

See Configuration Management section, Service Management Roles x Person for details

Configuration Management Process Owner
Initiator of the process, accountable for defining the process strategic goals and allocating all required process resources. See Continual Process Improvement Management for a detailed description of these activities.
Configuration Management Process Manager (Configuration Manager)
Manager of the entire process, {responsible en} for its effectiveness and efficiency. Team leader of the function "Configuration Management Team". See Continual Process Improvement Management for a detailed description of these activities.
Configuration Management Team
Team associated to the Configuration Management Process.
Senior Management
Senior Management of the IT provider

Dynamic Process Roles

These roles are dynamically created during the Configuration Management Process. See the process-specific or activity-specific rules for details.

Configuration Item Owner
The attribute in the records contains the value of the Role/Function currently accountable for the Configuration Item (but NOT for the Configuration Management Process). The Configuration Item Owner can be changed within the CMS with the help of a Hierachical Escalation.
Configuration Item Agent
The attribute in the records contains the value of the Role/Function currently {responsible en} for either an activity or task within the overall Lifecycle of the CI. The Configuration Agent can be changed within the CMS with the help of a Functional Escalation, if permitted by the Rules.

Service Specific Roles

Roles depending on the affected service are found in the Service Description. The Service Description, including the service specific roles, is delivered from the Service Portfolio Management.

Example: Service Description

Service Expert/Service Specialist
They can consult at
  • Identifying CIs and Relations
  • Control CI and Relations
  • Verify and audit the CMS data
Service Owner
Configuration Librarian
Configuration Management System and Tool Administrator
Configuration Analyst

Customer Specific Roles

Roles depending on the affected customer(s) are found in the Service Level Agreement (SLA). The Service Level Agreement for the customer specific roles is maintained by the Service Level Agreement Management.

Customer(s)
Customers of the affected Service with a valid SLA

Example: Service Level Agreement Management

Information artifacts

This section describes information/data required or recorded by the process. In general, a Process Record (here: the Configuration Item and Relation) represents the current progress of a process and will contain all information related to the execution of that process. Additional information items (artifacts), such as the Request for Change (RFC) in the context of Change Management, typically can be realized by considering the information out of one or more (up to all) process records and either filtering, merging, correlating or interpreting these information, sometimes with regard to the context of other data and information sources.

Configuration Item

Definition

The Configuration Item is the record holding any management-relevant information and history of a specific request. On creation, it is based on (filled with) the information provided by users request, selected customer and service.

Unique identifier
CI type
Name/description
Version (e.g. file, build, baseline, release)
Location
Supply date
Licence details, e.g. expiry date
Owner/custodian
Status
Supplier/source
Related document masters
Related software masters
Historical data, e.g. audit trail
Relationship type
Applicable SLA
Additional Remarks

Configuration Item Type

Definition

The Configuration Item Type is the record ....

Unique identifier
Name/description
Owner/custodian
Status
Additional Remarks

Configuration Item attributes x activity matrix

For icon descriptions see Record attributes X activities

Configuration Item Relation

Definition

The CI Relation is the record holding ...

Unique identifier
Name/description
Status
Identified
From ci
Type
To ci
Comment
Additional Remarks

Configuration Item Relation type

Definition

The CI Relation type is the record holding ...

Unique identifier
Name/description
Status
From type
Name from-to
Name to-from
To type
Relevance
Comment
Cardinality from min
Cardinality from max
Cardinality to min
Cardinality to max
Additional Remarks

Configuration Item Relation attributes x activity matrix

For icon descriptions see Record attributes X activities

Key Concepts

Configuration Item

The Configuration Item needs to be identified and registered with describtion, that is not provided by relationships between. The Configuration Item type has to be choosen. The registered CI can be authorized for an updated after it was activated (manually or automatically)

Configuration Item type

The Configuration Item type defines how the classes and types of assets and configuration items are structured in a kind of inheritance. The inheritance is defined by the CI type.

Configuration Item Relation

Relations are necessary genric and dynamic way linking CIs and modelling the dependencies between the CIs.

Configuration Item Relation type

There are the following types of Relation suggested:

  • Relationships in a hierarchical or subordinate way between CIs
  • Relationships between CIs and their associated documents
  • Relationships between CIs and changes
  • Relationships between CIs, incidents, problems and known errors.

Configuration Item Controls

Configuration_Management_tables_controls_ci_2

Process

Critical Success Factors

Critical Success Factors (CSF):

  • complexity of the CMDB structure
  • Cooperation and mutual observation of Configuration and Change Management
  • No personal union of Change and Configuration Manager
  • only maintainable information, that is necessary for business needs
  • step by step rollout of the Configuration Management
  • continouus audits
  • Reconciliation of the CMDB with the inventory tool/asset management

Configuration Item type handling

High Level Process Flow Chart

Configuration_management_images_main_ci-type_2.gif

This chart illustrates the Configuration Management CI Type handling process

Performance Indicators (KPI)

  • Details from audit
    • Ratio correct/incorrect information in the CMDB
    • Amount of unauthorized changes according to CI Types
    • Amount of non-recorded respectively unauthorized CI Types
  • Growth and amount (min/max/average) of changes per CI Type
  • Data about the assembling of the IT-infrastructure per CI Type
  • Working minutes for new entry, changes and withdrawn of an element

per service, per user, per customer, per location, per category, …

Process Trigger

Event Trigger

  • Any change on Configuration Management relevant CI (Type) or Relation (Type) is only triggered by the Change Management process

For more information see the relevant Process Interface Description in the Process Interfaces Overview

Time Trigger

  • continual audits may change the status of a CI Type

Process Specific Rules

  • every Request for Change may trigger a CMDB audit or at least a CMDB reconciliation
  • defining a CI Type can only be handled by the Configuration Management Team
  • one dedicated person out of the Configuration Management Team is responsible for a specific CI Type

Note: for the different types of rules see Rules.

Process Activities

Configuration Item Type defining

Defining Configuration Item types means defining the level detail, that is usefull and necessary for providing information to support services. The information flow between the Service Portfolio Management and Configuration Item Type defining process has to be mutual regarding to design matching. Defining Configuration Item Types is the beginning of doing the modelling of a CMDB and the CI types were the structure of the CMDB.

The following questions, that occur during the Service Design, can be more easily answered:

  • What is currently present (IT, services, documentation, etc.)
  • What is needed for the planned service
  • What dependencies and interfaces do we need and are already there

Activity Specific Rules

  • Status of a CI Type is set to active if the CI Type is validated by the Configuration Management Team
  • Status of a CI Type is set to withdrawn if the CI Type is no more used or present

Configuration Item Type updating

Updating the Configuration Item Type should be rarely and very carefully used. All dependencies have to be checked before updating.

Activity Specific Rules

  • Updating is only allowed if the status of a CI Type is active
  • Update has to be authorized

Configuration Item handling

High Level Process Flow Chart

This chart illustrates the Configuration Management CI handling process

Configuration_management_images_main_ci_2

Performance Indicators (KPI)

  • Details from audit
    • Ratio correct/incorrect information in the CMDB
    • Amount of unauthorized changes according to CIs
    • Amount of non-recorded respectively unauthorized CIs
  • Growth and amount (min/max/average) of changes per CI
  • Data about the assembling of the IT-infrastructure per CI
  • Working minutes for new entry, changes and withdrawn of an element

per service, per user, per customer, per location, per category, …

Process Trigger

Event Trigger

  • Any change on Configuration Management relevant CI (Type) or Relation (Type) is only triggered by the Change Management process

For more information see the relevant Process Interface Description in the Process Interfaces Overview

Time Trigger

  • continual audits may change the status of a CI

Process Specific Rules

  • every Request for Change may trigger a CMDB audit or at least a CMDB reconciliation
  • defining a CI can be handled by the Service Expert/Service Specialist or doing at least consulting for it
  • one dedicated person out of the Configuration Management Team is responsible for activating the specific CI and dealing with it trough its lifecycle

Note: for the different types of rules see Rules.

Process Activities

Configuration Item defining

Defining a Configuration Item can be treated as an instance of a CI Type and can be handled manually or automated by an inventory tool. According to the predefined CI Types the Service Experts or Specialist should record the Configuration Items into the CMDB. Configuration Items can be defined even if there isn't any corresponding CI Type, in that case the CI Type defining process is triggered to provide a valid CI Type.

Activity Specific Rules

Configuration Item updating

Activity Specific Rules

  • Updating is only allowed if the status of a CI Type is active
  • Update has to be authorized

Configuration Relation Type handling

High Level Process Flow Chart

This chart illustrates the Configuration Management Relation Type handling process

Configuration_management_images_main_relation-type_2

Performance Indicators (KPI)

  • Details from audit
    • Ratio correct/incorrect information in the CMDB
    • Amount of unauthorized changes according to Relation Types
    • Amount of non-recorded respectively unauthorized Relation Types
  • Growth and amount (min/max/average) of changes per Relation Type
  • Data about the assembling of the IT-infrastructure per Relation Type
  • Working minutes for new entry, changes and withdrawn of an element

per service, per user, per customer, per location, per category, …

Process Trigger

Event Trigger

  • Any change on Configuration Management relevant CI (Type) or Relation (Type) is only triggered by the Change Management process

For more information see the relevant Process Interface Description in the Process Interfaces Overview

Time Trigger

  • continual audits may change the status of a Relation Type

Process Specific Rules

  • every Request for Change may trigger a CMDB audit or at least a CMDB reconciliation
  • defining a Relation Type can only be handled by the Configuration Management Team
  • one dedicated person out of the Configuration Management Team is responsible for a specific Relation Type

Note: for the different types of rules see Rules.

Process Activities

Configuration Item Relation type registering

Activity Specific Rules

  • Configuration is set to the person who triggered the Service Request
  • Ticket Agent is set "Service Request Management Team" if there is not a person as ticket agent available

Configuration Item Relation type updating

Activity Specific Rules

  • Updating is only allowed if the status of a CI Type is active
  • Update has to be authorized

Configuration Relation handling

High Level Process Flow Chart

This chart illustrates the Configuration Management Relation handling process

Configuration_management_images_main_relation_2

Performance Indicators (KPI)

  • Details from audit
    • Ratio correct/incorrect information in the CMDB
    • Amount of unauthorized changes according to Relations
    • Amount of non-recorded respectively unauthorized Relations
  • Growth and amount (min/max/average) of changes per Relation
  • Data about the assembling of the IT-infrastructure per Relation
  • Working minutes for new entry, changes and withdrawn of an element

per service, per user, per customer, per location, per category, …

Process Trigger

Event Trigger

  • Any change on Configuration Management relevant CI (Type) or Relation (Type) is only triggered by the Change Management process

For more information see the relevant Process Interface Description in the Process Interfaces Overview

Time Trigger

  • continual audits may change the status of an CI

Process Specific Rules

  • every Request for Change may trigger a CMDB audit or at least a CMDB reconciliation
  • defining a Relation can be handled by the Service Expert/Service Specialist or doing at least consulting for it
  • one dedicated person out of the Configuration Management Team is responsible for activating the specific Relation and dealing with it trough its lifcycle

Note: for the different types of rules see Rules.

Process Activities

Configuration Item Relation registering

Activity Specific Rules

  • Configuration is set to the person who triggered the Service Request
  • Ticket Agent is set "Service Request Management Team" if there is not a person as ticket agent available

Configuration Item Relation updating

Activity Specific Rules

  • Updating is only allowed if the status of a CI Type is active
  • Update has to be authorized