Configuration management is the process of managing the organizational assets and configuration items to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness in a controlled fashion to ensure minimization of risk to the business operation. Configuration management provides a complete inventory of assets and their relation including who is responsible for their control and management throughout the life cycle. The configuration management process should be integrated with the change and release processes.
The organization should have policies and procedures which define and maintain the underlying structure of the CM (the Configuration Model) so that it is able to hold all information on Configuration Items (CIs). The organization should define, at a minimum:
The requirements for accountability, traceability, auditability, e.g. for security, legal, regulatory, or business purposes.
How the types of assets and configuration items, including sub-components, are to be selected, grouped and classified.
The appropriate characteristics and attributes to be recorded including definitions of which are compulsory and which are optional.
The relationships between various assets.
The approach to identification, uniquely naming and labeling all the assets or service components of interest across the service life cycle.
The roles and responsibilities of the owner or custodian for configuration item type at each stage of its life cycle, e.g. the service owner for a service package or release at each stage of the service life cycle.