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Build a team and a governance model

The right configuration management team and governance structure can build credibility and trust in your process over the long‑term.

The configuration management 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.

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

Table 3: Typical assignments for a configuration management team. CCB = Configuration Control Board

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

Implement Governance

To assist 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 on the CCB should be IT leadership team members accountable for strategic initiatives but close enough to understand support efforts and CMBD 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. The CI owner and process owner are informed of this change to ensure all systems are updated and communicated to stakeholders.

Table 4:  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 themselves. 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 responsibility of stakeholders.

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

Expert Tip

Expert Tip

Keep your configuration management team focused – don’t let them get bogged down into other support issues. A great way to establish this is through a RACI chart that shows what roles that configuration management team members play, relative to other process teams and support functions.

Explore additional phases

Plan

You want to be sure everything is in place for a smooth, successful deployment.

Deploy

You want to be sure you’re following best practices during implementation.

Optimize

You’re up and running and want to get the most from your investment.

Extend

You’re ready to extend ServiceNow into other areas of your enterprise.