Are you interested in learning how to develop a robust configuration management process? Well Jeff Rohloff has the answers.
The following are five lessons we learned during the initial phases of implementing a configuration process.
1. Assemble cross-functional team – One of the best approaches we used was to assemble a cross-functional team of key representatives of all of the infrastructure groups. This provided valuable input from a variety of viewpoints and critically needed buy-in across the infrastructure.
2. Agree on a definition of configuration – I found that by identifying several definitions of configuration management from reputable sources led us to a definition that all parties agreed with and understood. It emphasized a proactive approach and resulted in strong buy-in and support from executives and team leads alike.
3. Research what others have done similar to your environment – I sought out other IT environments similar to my own such as Clark County and the Los Angeles Police Department to learn of their experiences with configuration management. This saved us time and effort in learning which products and procedures worked best. For example, trying to find a single product that would address all of our needs was not realistic as others found out. Instead, we scaled our project down in scope and used multiple products linked together.
4. Conduct a SWOT session at the outset – We participated in a professionally-facilitated brainstorming session to identify and prioritize our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) concerning configuration management. This helped us to exploit the strengths we already had such as in-house tools and to mitigate weaknesses such as lack of integration with other processes.
5. Bring in outside professional help when appropriate – We hired a professional consultant who led us through a brainstorming session to assess where we were and the best method to use to get to where we wanted to be. This enabled us to focus on only the parts of our environment most critical to our needs.
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