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Build a team and a governance model

When you build your configuration management team and governance structure and get early buy‑in from executives, it helps create credibility and trust in your configuration management process over the long term.

The team should have autonomy to carry out configuration management responsibilities without being bogged down by daily support functions. This team should operate independently from the day‑to‑day “keep the lights on” support functions.

With your team in place, define each member’s role, responsibilities, and authority. Then document these things to ensure they have the ownership and support to make the changes required.

Table 4 shows how one ServiceNow customer outlined its team’s roles and responsibilities before deploying the CMDB.

Table 4: Typical assignments for a configuration management team.

To learn more about identifying and assigning roles, read this detailed guide.

Implement governance

As part of this team, ServiceNow customers form a configuration control board (CCB). The CCB serves as a steering committee to make sure there is always a good value proposition for configuration management efforts. The CCB is essential and is there to ensure your configuration management project stays on track, from a value proposition perspective, and remains effective for the company. Voting members of your CCB should be leadership team members who are directly accountable for the strategic initiatives of the IT department and close enough to the day‑to‑day infrastructure support team efforts to understand the use cases. For an example of how our customers implement governance through a CCB, take a look at this CCB Charter document.

We’ve found that the titles and roles of the CM team vary in each company. For instance, the ServiceNow IT infrastructure and operations team uses the RACI matrix (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) to manage configuration management tasks. For example, when they publish a new configuration item (CI), each of the four members of the team ensures that updates are made successfully. Both the configuration manager and analyst are accountable and responsible for publishing the new CI; while the CI owner and process owners are informed of this change to ensure all systems are updated and communicated to stakeholders.

Table 5:  RACI matrix used to assign configuration management team tasks

One of our customers clearly documents tasks that require approval from their governance board and those that can be accomplished by the application support team. For instance, application support can modify version, lifecycle, business owner, and relationships. While fields like business criticality, SLA, and operational status (live, retired, etc.) have to go through the board for formal approval. We like this approach since it clearly identifies the responsibilities of the stakeholders.

Expert Tip

EXPERT TIP

Create a structured team and a steering committee to keep everyone focused on the goals of keeping a business‑driven configuration management plan.

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