Home �   ITIL�  Index

The Love Triangle - Config, Change And Release

Jul 5, 2005

ITSM Watch Staff

By Russell Steyn

The triangle Is The Strongest Shape!
The reality is that the three processes cannot even be separated through a conscious decision. Companies that claim to do Change Management (The ITIL way), but do not do Release Management, for instance, are often doing Release Management without even realising it.

Implementation plans and back-out plans and the testing of these, is a Release Management function. Communication in, and around the implementation is a Release Management function. Drawing up the documentation and running new services in a staging environment, is a Release Management function. Training and Educating, bundling and batching, delivery and signoff, are all Release Management functions.

You can't not be doing Release?!

Config, Change and Release management responsibilities also stretch further than the change or release at hand. The three processes also need to work together to ensure better, smoother running of IT systems and support on a day-to-day basis.

For this, Release Management relies on Change to review high volume, low risk/impact changes and convert these into "Standard" changes that can be run as routine maintenance activities without having to go through a formalised Change procedure, with meetings and CAB involvement for something like a backup or a security vulnerability patch.

Config Management, in turn, relies on Change Management to communicate and enforce the need for Change Control, so that technical resources do not make changes without the logging of a Change request, and that Customers and Users in the business units consult with Change Management before buying, changing or moving anything. This helps with the effectiveness and accuracy of the CMDB.

Change Management is never questioned as necessary in an organisation. However, Release Management and Configuration Management are often questioned, and often excluded from a Change Management adoption, or an ITIL implementation.

This is a fundamental flaw in any ITIL adoption. Whether you know it or not, weather you like it or not, these processes belong together. Sure, each process in itself is important and addresses its own unique set of criteria, but it is only when the three work together, handing off to each other on many levels and sub-levels, that true value is realised.

Just as Phoebe, Piper and Paige are able to share the same house, the same missions and indeed the same "Spell Book" to achieve the power of three (P3) in Charmed, so too will Config, Change and Release be able to share the same Tools, Forums, Meetings, Documentation, Plans and People to achieve D3 , Design, Develop, Deploy!

    On time, On budget, for business success.

    Config, Change, Release, The love triangle was destined to be together.

    Don't mess with destiny!

Russell Steyn is a Master ITSM Trainer and Consultant with Foster-Melliar, South Africa. Foster-Melliar specialises in assisting companies to realise their true potential by enhancing their IT services, support and delivery, through a tailored offering of "best practice" based consulting, mentoring, facilitation, training and software. He can be reached at RussellS@foster-melliar.co.za