SACM and CMDB Tools – Implementation Considerations – Part 4

This post is the part four (and concluding part) of a series where we discuss the planning and implementation of a SACM and CMDB solution. Previously in Part One we discussed the fundamental considerations that should go into deciding whether to implement a CMDB solution for your organization. Part Two and Part Three discussed some of the planning considerations that will impact the quality of the CMDB solution. In this post, I will try to wrap it all up with some additional suggestions on the implementation approach.

Coming up with a CMDB implementation approach will be highly organization dependent. If you need something to start the planning process, I would suggest examining the following high-level approach and refining it with more detailed steps or activities.

  1. Do the homework. Examine the planning factors we discussed in the previous posts. Have a clear idea of what the organization hopes to accomplish with the CMDB data. Refine the scope. Determine how much data is really enough by balancing the information need/availability with the resources and effort needed. Depending on the size of the effort and your organization’s requirements, you may or may not need to formalize this as a funded project.
  2. Line up the right people for the CMDB effort. Explicitly funded or not, implementing CMDB should be treated as a formal project with activities and resources clearly identified and planned. Get the right people involved at the various stages. Help the people acquire the necessary CMDB knowledge before diving into the work.
  3. Work on the requirements and translate the requirements into data model designs. Collaboration with other teams is the key to success here. Don’t do the design in isolation. Work with you Enterprise Architecture team or person to collaborate on the design. The data model needs to have the necessary details so a number of things such as processes and tools can be designed around them.
  4. Select the tools that can handle your design or come very close to it. You will use the tools to construct your CMDB and figure out what support processes your team will need to maintain the CMDB. The tools will also help you populate the data into the CMDB the very first time and facilitate the on-going additions and changes.
  5. Towards the end of the implementation effort, you will need to train your CMDB administrators and the users who will interact with the tools. Once the tools go live, you will need to start gathering usage statistics and measuring the effectiveness of the tools and processes. Periodically check for results and validate your assumptions about how the tools and processes should work or behave like. Look for risks to mitigate and opportunities to extend the usefulness of CMDB to support other processes and business activities.

In addition, I would recommend another book “Step-by-Step Guide to Building a CMDB” ISBN-13: 978-0977811939 for implementation and reference purposes. The book goes into many details of planning and implementing a CMDB solution. I have outlined the high-level steps below, and the book is something to consider.

Stage 1: Assemble the Project Team and Define the Project

  • Step 1: Assemble Project Team
  • Step 2: Obtain CMDB Knowledge
  • Step 3: Create and Agree on CMDB Goals and Mission Statement
  • Step 4: Review and Define Benefits
  • Step 5: Build a Business Case

Stage 2: Define Requirements and Create IT Service Model Blueprint

  • Step 6: Identify & Review Governance Requirements
  • Step 7: Review and Select Supporting Best Practices
  • Step 8: Identify Requirements to Address Potential Problems
  • Step 9: Identify Inventory & Asset Requirements
  • Step 10: Define Service Catalog Requirements
  • Step 11: Define CMDB Requirements to Support Other Processes
  • Step 12: Define Configuration Item Level & IT Service Model
  • Step 13: Define Configuration Item Relationships
  • Step 14: Define Configuration Item Attributes
  • Step 15: Design IT Service Model Blueprint

Stage 3: Select CMDB Solution and Tools

  • Step 16: Select CMDB Solution
  • Step 17: Plan the CMDB Population
  • Step 18: Select Tools to Automate CMDB Population
  • Step 19: Calculate Project ROI

Stage 4: Construct and Maintain Your CMDB

  • Step 20: Construct Your CMDB
  • Step 21: Create Configuration Item Lifecycle Management Processes
  • Step 22: Build Support Processes
  • Step 23: Populate Your CMDB
  • Step 24: Train the CMDB Team and Users

Stage 5: Driving Ongoing Value

  • Step 25: Implement Measures and Metrics
  • Step 26: Create a Continual Service Improvement Program

Links to other posts in the series

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