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10 IT Assumptions You Need to Eliminate to Ensure Successful Change and Configuration Management


10 IT Assumptions You Need to Eliminate to Ensure Successful Change and Configuration Management


by Sasha Gilenson

Processes, workflows, best practices, and new developments have become ingrained for many to be the salvation that IT operations needs to stay ahead of complexity that turns the data center on its head. Check out these 10 assumptions that need to be eliminated to get things done right in IT operations today.

1. No Process Shortcuts in Change and Configuration Management

Don't enforce a change and configuration management process that does not have legitimate shortcuts.

2. Approved Changes Are Perfectly Implemented

Don't assume that a change that was implemented is exactly the same as the change that was approved.

3. Pad the Project Plan with Extra Time

Stop cushioning your project plan with extra time for environment setup and release stabilization. This just means giving up to the bad practices that can be simply eliminated.

4. Not Working Because Pre-production is Low on Resources

Stop blaming the failures of testing on the fact that pre-production is smaller with less resources than production.

5. When an Incident Happens, Just Ask the Team What they Did

Get out of phone tagging across operational teams with a question "did anyone change anything?" This is not the most efficient way for incident investigation anymore.

6. Implement the Latest Technology Development

Don't expect new technologies to be a silver bullet. Neither virtualization nor cloud completely solve the change and configuration management challenge. They change the focus of the challenge not eliminate it.

7. People Should Keep Track of Their Own Changes

Relying on your people is very important. However don't rely on them, when they claim that they know exactly what they changed. This falls apart in a complex and dynamic environment, since so many things are happening, people don't always keep track of everything.

8. The CMDB is Best for Handling Change and Configuration Management

Accept the truth that final deployment of your CMDB project is not the ultimate end of change and configuration management implementation. CMDB is just a bird-eye view of your assets. Additional intelligent and granular analysis is required to take on full control of your environment.

9. Rely on Your Change Management Workflow

Don't assume your environment's appearance is as a result of your change management workflow. Environments drift in spite of any defined workflows.

10. Depend on Rare Failover Tests

Don't leave your disaster recovery environment to depend on rare failover tests. If the DR environment is not aligned with your production when it is needed it turns into a waste of money and provides false security.

Your Turn
We'd like to hear your insights into this area.

What are some of the challenges that you see in the area of change and configuration management?

About the Author
Sasha Gilenson
Sasha Gilenson enjoyed a long and successful career at Mercury Interactive (acquired by HP), having led the company's QA organization, participating in establishing Mercury's Software as a Service (SaaS), as well as leading a Business Unit in Europe and Asia.

Sasha played a key role in the development of Mercury's worldwide Business Technology Optimization (BTO) strategy and drove field operations of the Wireless Business Unit, all while taking on the duties as the Mercury's top "guru" in quality processes and IT practices domain. In this capacity, Sasha has advised numerous Fortune 500 companies on technology and process optimization, and in turn, acquired a comprehensive and rare knowledge of the market and industry practices.

Sasha holds an M.Sc. in Computer Science from Latvian University and MBA from London Business School.