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Enterprise Configuration Management - Case Study

Scenario: National and local laws demand healthcare organizations deploy effective controls on their IT infrastructures. In response to the regulatory demands a release, testing and management Corporate Initiative was begun.  The Thrower Group expert's testing strategy presented addresses a component relative to the Configuration Management continuation.  This endeavor will complete the Configuration Management tool conversion and automate the process in response to auditing compliance and customer necessities.
The implementation requires a full deployment throughout the organization of the Serena tool set. These processes are based upon the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) and supported by system management techniques; tools, procedures, and policies outlined by the organization’s Software Engineering Process Group (SEPG) that define the enterprise configuration management process.

Symptom: Poor Configuration Management Controls

  • Poor audit findings were based solely upon inadequate control mechanisms and often resulted in disciplinary measures (fines)
  • Service outages
  • Unplanned work (resulting in delayed delivery of strategic projects)
  • Increased risk and security vulnerabilities
  • Lack of Quality Assurance about system security and data integrity

Problem Statement:

The need to improve the efficiency and quality of software delivery throughout a project’s lifecycle by ensuring the integrity and control of approved software changes. Eliminate low or no cost-effectiveness in release and the high cost of rework/redevelopment of exiting artifacts or parts.

Issue: By not providing enterprise capabilities that include automation and appropriate skills, we would continue to fail during implementation and deployment activities.  Integrating Configuration Management with the testing environment will include the reduction of inefficiencies caused by:

  • Lack of Enterprise Testing methodology
  • Lack of test environment guidelines, processes, procedures, and standards
  • Building test environments for each project instead of moving the project work into a corporate test environment
  • multiple corporate project release schedules in addition to multiple day-to-day release schedules for each application

Solution: Delivering value through an Enterprise Configuration Management Implementation. We undertook four key areas to mitigate risk:

1. Financial

2. Administrative Efficiency

3. Operational Excellence

4. Instuitionalization

Financial: The standardization of process and tools added value through managed software products which created better risk management; audit compliance and IT process capabilities.

Administrative Efficiency: The automated versioning, build, release, deployment, change management process provided test and production environment stability resulting in far less rework. Tool integration allowed us to build better version management, concurrent development and successful software code control to facilitate roll back and disaster recovery efforts.

Operational Excellence: We addressed the Center of Excellence principle by establishing processes that allowed tailoring within the tool; the tool installed and managed the product as well as controlled the migration from previous platforms (i.e., mainframe to distributed systems); and required a very low learning curve supporting not only product but process training as well.

Instuitionalization: Human, Information and Organization capital were realized on exiting business technologies (e.g., Pega, Tibco, etc.)  By defining five strategic goal measures we produced a balanced scorecard for execution.  Measuring the tool deployment was weighted based on

  • number of apps under mainframe – 40%;
  • number of apps under distributed systems- 30%;
  • upgrades and migrations – 10%.

The CMMI efforts were defined by number of project supports – 10% and the goals and practices satisfied in the CM process area for Managed Level 2 and Defined Level 3 implementation – 10%.

Outcome: Implementing the Configuration Management process allowed for a realignment of 90% of the enterprise resources in accordance with the Long Range Strategic Plan.   Resources are now being allocated to the right strategic function.  Streamlining the process allowed for more focus on long term artifacts (code), not on short term (project docs). Consistency in the quality of software products and control over the cost to develop and maintain the products were realized by process quality.   Architecture maturity via architectural standardization was most beneficial based upon the commitment to a CMMI Level 3 (Defined) organization.

How TTG Can Help You: The same expertise and thinking that drove those results would be  deployed against your Configuration Management challenges. We will partner with you to create solutions that meet your needs, and fit your organization’s capabilities to execute.