In a recent article in ict*World, Russell Steyn wrote about the “love triangle in ITIL – configuration management, change management, and release management.”  Interesting that this image arises as within the MOF training curriculum, there is a graphic similar to the following one which depicts a triangle between these three service management functions

Change Release Config Triangle

 To flow through this triangle…

  1. Change Mgmt receives a request for change (RFC).
  2. Configuration Mgmt performs a baseline assessment of the environment which is used by Change mgmt to evaluate the impacts of the RFC.
  3. The CAB authorizes, if approved, release mgmt to plan and implement the release.  Change mgmt monitors the release process.
  4. Release and configuration mgmt work cohesively to ensure that applications move out of and into the definitive software library (DSL) in a controlled fashion.  Configuration mgmt assists release mgmt to identify the affected CIs and the impact of that affect.
  5. Release mgmt executes the implementation and provides CI updates to configuration mgmt.
  6. Throughout, change mgmt monitors the release, development, testing, and implementation to resolve issues and ensure planned schedules are adhered to.

Viewed another way, the following graphic depicts the release management process overlapping the change and configuration management processes. 

Change Release Config relationship

To summarize, it is impossible to focus on one of these SMFs without a focus on the others.  This is also true of the MOF process model in general.  While quadrants can be examined for gaps and needs for maturity, a holistic approach should always be taken when examining these processes within your organization.