Configuration Management Training for the Organization?

By Steve Easterbrook, CMPIC LLC

Configuration Management (CM) processes exist to enable the entire organization to work better. One of the biggest reasons CM is not as effective or efficient as it could be, is the fact that most of the organization sees CM as a person, or CM department, whose only mission is to slow them down.

Most in the organization do not understand what CM actually is – it's "purpose", it's "rewards". And they certainly do not understand the "dark side" should CM not be in place or followed. There are employees and managers that do not understand their own internal CM plans or procedures, as well.

Many organizations make it mandatory for every employee to take annual safety training. If the employee refuses to take the training, they would be let go. But the same organizations do not blink an eye when their own employees do not follow company approved CM plans and procedures.

Failing to follow company approved CM plans and procedures can result in loss of revenue, loss of customers, lawsuits, schedule delays, warranty work, etc., and, ironically, major safety problems. Now, how important is that? Is it important enough to make it mandatory for the people around you to learn more about CM?

Every manager and co-worker, the entire organization, needs some degree of CM training in the what, why, how, when, etc. of CM. Why? CM processes affect everyone. Anyone who creates, validates, or releases information needs to understand CM. Anyone who proposes, reviews, authorizes, or implements change needs to understand CM. Anyone who orders parts or work to be done needs to know what to order / build / test, etc.

Read the following excerpt from the EIA-649B Configuration Management Standard:
    “CM training provides an understanding of the fundamentals and principles of CM and the use of CM tools, procedures, and practices ... Training should be planned to address both performance of assigned CM tasks and cross-training to provide awareness of relationships and interactions with others having CM-related responsibilities. Personnel from many organizations within the enterprise and suppliers have CM roles to perform. Both on-the-job and formal CM training should be tailored to address needs based on the individual’s position, experience level, and responsibility ... Training should not be a one-time event; it should be continuous as personnel and processes change, personal skills evolve, and new tools are introduced...”

Join this conversation and others on the CMPIC® Configuration Management Trends LinkedIn group.

If you or your company are interested in industry standards-based training in configuration management, consider attending one of CMPIC's CM certification classes.