Refining the Five Percent Club
A guest post today from Aale Roos:
Knowing how Rob loves the CMDB ;) I thought I should publish my latest survey results here instead of ITSM Portal. I do a few surveys every year on different subjects. My method is to try to compress the survey in three questions (see reasons for that here). I have a small group of Finnish IT-people who read my e-mails, visit my website and also sometimes answer to my surveys, probably about 500 people. All surveys are open, I know who has answered and I can combine different surveys if the same person has answered both. This being a small country, I usually also know the person who has answered.
This time I asked about configuration management and CMBD. The report is here but it is in Finnish, sorry. My three questions were:
1) Do you have a fully operating configuration management activity (I gave a fairly demanding explanation of this in the introduction)
2) How much work it causes
3) Future plans
The first question had a number of choices of which the respondents could choose any combination. The choices were:
a) no, we do not have any system, experts take care of their domains
b) we do not have a naming standard
c) data is updated automatically without change control
d) the data does not contain or has only limited relationships
e) the system covers only assets
f) the data has not been verified or is outdated
g) we have a good, working configuration management
The results show that 13% do not have configuration management, 65% have some deficiencies and 22% have a good, working system. The most common deficiency is the lack of relationship information (50% of those who report deficiencies.)
The 22% is more than the 5% Rob estimates as the real number that truly get benefit from CMDB (the Five Percent Club) but this result is probably not representative of Finland as those who are interested enough to answer my survey are likely to be more active in trying to use ITSM methods. Compared to US, my guess is that Finland is at roughly the same level of adaption, at least this was true during the ten years I worked with HDI. At this moment 15% might be the right number but it is a moving target so there will be (has been) a time when that number is correct.
The respondents said that configuration management causes work, but not too much and 75% think they need to put more effort in the future. Only a very small minority thought it was wasted effort.
I did a similar study on Change management earlier this year, which I have published in English. I combined the results of these two surveys and it shows that having a good configuration management systems correlates strongly with not having change related interruptions in the service.
The message seems to be that having a CMDB is possible and worth it, but requires a lot of effort. Another quite important message from both of these surveys is that you get the benefits only when your processes are fairly mature.