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ITIL :: View topic - Config Plan Definition
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Config Plan Definition

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Senior Itiler

Joined: Mar 31, 2008
Posts: 109
Location: North West England

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 8:29 pm    Post subject: Config Plan Definition Reply with quote


I'm having a "discussion" at the moment with my manager over the purpose of a Config Management Plan and I was wondering if I could get some thoughts from the forum on the topic.

My belief (as a veteran config manager) is that the main purpose of a CM plan is to detail how we currently manage our CIs, covering plannign, identification, control, accounting, verification and the process for managing continuous improvement. It is very much in the here and now.

My managers belief (as a verteran ITILer) is that the plan should be more time based, detailed where we want to be and how we are going to get there during the next 12 months, similar to a project plan.

Don't get me wrong - I do know that a plan for implementing changes to the CM process is necessary but I see this as an implementation plan, not a CM plan.

There's no right or wrong when it comes to ITIL but what do people normally think of when they see a CM Plan?

Thanks in advance

Mick Smith
Change, Configuration and Release Manager
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Senior Itiler

Joined: Mar 04, 2008
Posts: 1894
Location: Helensburgh

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


do you have access to the ISO20000 documents? ISO20000-1:2005 section 5 and ISO20000-2:2005 go into much detail on service plans and their content.

If I understand it aright, these are essentially what ISO9000 calls Quality Plans. ISO9000:2005 states that a Quality Plan is a "document specifying which procedures and associated resources shall be applied by whom and when to a specific project, product, process or contract."

In your case this would correspond to process. This is completely separate from a process implementation or improvement plan, which you may also need from time to rime.

The ITIL glossary says a plan is "a document which identifies a series of activities and resources required to achieve an objective."

I think perhaps your manager is both right and wrong (or vice versa) in that your quality plan for Configuration Management could, and almost certainly should, include how you go about continuous improvement, but I don't think it should be the document to contain the specific targets for the period ahead. More likely it should reference that improvement plan document and describe how it is managed.

On the one hand sorry to be so wordy about this and on the other, if you want more specific interpretation from the standard, just let me know (email if you prefer).
"Method goes far to prevent trouble in business: for it makes the task easy, hinders confusion, saves abundance of time, and instructs those that have business depending, both what to do and what to hope."
William Penn 1644-1718
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Senior Itiler

Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 3597
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my infamous answer

It depends

what is the planned audience of the document

If it is aimed at one level / group - then there is no time constraints
if it is for another ... may be

granted this is a weaselly answer.... but it depends

and ISO 20000 does have more details

so does cobit - mapping to itil - it gives objectives (cobit)
John Hardesty
ITSM Manager's Certificate (Red Badge)

Change Management is POWER & CONTROL. /....evil laughter
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Senior Itiler

Joined: Oct 12, 2007
Posts: 306
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


your belief can be accomodated in a Configuration Management process. It is about activities that are doine no wto support Configuration Management

You managers belief can be accomodated in a Configuration Management plan if it is forward looking - tho address the where are we now, where are we going, how do we get there etc.
Mark O'Loughlin
ITSM / ITIL Consultant
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