Did that get your attention?! Reality is that most people struggle with the implementation of Configuration Management. Their projects tend to become ‘bigger than Ben Hur’ and the CMDB is not trusted because the data is inaccurate.
What do you need to do to make your CMDB a valuable component of your IT Service Delivery? Where do you need to start? And what are the pitfalls you need to avoid at any cost?
Well, first things first: A CMDB is NOT a product that you buy… It is the result of the implementation of a Configuration management process and the collection of databases and repositories you need to collect the information about components and how they relate to each other.
At the start of each implementation you will need to manage expectations. Start each initiative with a full blown marketing& sales campaign so that every person involved knows what is happening and why.
Every organisation is at a different level of maturity, and you will need to match your Configuration management implementation to the maturity level of your company. Start with Incident Management… what areas of service deficiency can we target with a CMDB or CMS? Where can we leverage the current technology? Where can we eliminate further incidents by utilizing the knowledge we gain from Configuration Management?
Remember our maturity level… At any point ask the question: “does it make sense to take it to the next level?” If you can’t answer that question… don’t move on!
After you’ve identified the chaos you’re in and recognized through Incident management where to focus your attention you can start off with some good old detective work! This inventory is important because it builds the foundation of your future IT Management activities.
You’ve done step 2 and created an inventory of products and services… this is starting to look like an Asset Management system. But don’t get sucked in at this stage… remember you maturity level! Only measure what you are capable of… and don’t try to do too much or too fancy. Even when you identify that you are only capable of measuring the current state – that’s OK! Don’t pretend to be something that you’re not!
This is also the time for an honest (re-)assessment because most organisations already have most of the data they need – just not in the form of information that can be used. Look seriously at your current data sources that you can re-use. Where can you consolidate data sources? Where is the overlap? Even though the data may be out dated an/or of poor quality, this doesn’t mean you can’t work with it. At least it gives you a starting point. A benchmark to which you map out your improvement projects and processes.
When you follow these honest steps you’ll be on your way to a mature Configuration Management Process and CMDB implementation before you know it.
(This blog was inspired by a presentation by Glenn O’Donnell and Carlos Casanova I attended at the itSMF Fusion10 conference). Glenn and Carlos are the authors of ‘the CMDB imperative’ )