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Service Transition - Configuration Item



The term configuration item or CI refers to the primary structural unit of the configuration management system. CIs come in many different forms, but can include individual requirements documents, software, models, plans, and even people.

Configuration Items
Examples of Configuration Items

  • People
  • Models
  • Plans
  • Documents
  • An entire service
  • A system


In some cases, when it makes more sense, CIs can be grouped together e.g. a set of components that will be grouped into a particular release.

Each CI is identified and then classified making it easy to manage and trace those items throughout the service lifecycle.

Configuration Management system (CMS)

We use the Configuration Management system to oversee the life of the CIs through a multitude of methods and tools. Within the CMS we capture data about the item depending on the type of configuration item it is e.g. supplier cost could be captured for a Service CI. We also manage the relationships between all service components and their related incidents, errors and release documentation. We need to know that a change to Item A will affect Item B or C. Relationships are rarely one to one, and a single component may be used by several other independent components.

Items a re managed systematically. CIs are always added to the system with supporting documentation and following a strict procedure. Mandatory fields are common to ensure the configuration item is recorded with the right level of detail. Configuration maps are common in most CMS software, allowing users to view dependencies as a kind of snap shot.

As with most information help during the service lifecycle, it's a good idea to back it up on a regular basis. Lost configuration items can leave the service in a state of limbo adversely affecting the performance and delivery of value by the service provider.

There are several different types of Configuration Item. They can be:

  • Service lifecycle CI - e.g. Service Management Plan
  • Service CI - e.g. Service resource asset
  • Organisational CI - e.g. business strategy
  • Internal CI - e.g. software
  • External CI - e.g. customer agreement
  • Interface CI


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