If you are not new to the Information Technology industry, you probably would have heard of the term configuration management. Configuration management is important for businesses in the IT industry, since it involves a detailed listing of the updates done in the software and hardware components of a computer network and system. Each component added, removed, upgraded or modified creates an impact in the overall operation of the business, especially if you have complex business systems. A change made at any point of the network creates a domino effect to the rest of the system, which is the reason why it is important to devise an effective configuration management plan  be it for the hardware or software application that your network is using. Take a look at the following tips on how to devise an effective configuration management plan.

First, you need to know why devising a configuration management plan is important. This plan will provide a framework or a set of guidelines that can be followed whenever a change or an update is made on a particular networking system. Second, you should know about the following items that should be included in a standard configuration management plan: the scope of the project, documents used as reference, configuration identification, control and management, program phasing, configuration audits and software or hardware-specific configuration management. A configuration management plan will help you gain control and effectively manage all the changes made in your computer network system  beginning from the planning to the implementation stage.

The term Configuration Management covers how the changes observed in an automated information system are handled by the system development team in charge. The procedures that may be included in a Configuration Management effort could be, namely, Identification of the Configuration; Version Control; Review; and lastly Change Control. All these procedures ought to be set out in thorough detail in a Configuration Management Plan for the project concerned. The plan must then be disseminated to all team members so that they understand what is required of them as a team.

Identification of the Configuration involves being aware of what Project Technical Documents are to be part of the Configuration Management Plan. Then, this procedure should encompass Project User Documents and any and all types of Code that are to be used.

Version Control is exactly what it means  controlling this particular version of the system being studied. Version Control encompasses a plan for the Code and a plan for the Documents. There should be baseline standards set, composed of major baselines and minor baselines that should both be observed. It is also in this procedure that protocol for naming documents is to be delineated.

The Review Procedure may take the form of Informal Reviews, Assessment of each team member and his work, an Audit, Formal Reviews, and a Walkthrough. Each type of Review may have its own particular sub-procedures to be followed by the team.

The last main procedure is Change Control, in which every member of the Configuration Management team must take part. A vote should culminate at the end of this procedure, as to whether the project produced the results desired or not. Majority rules, as in any election.

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