Career Development

What Does a Configuration Manager Do?

Find out what a Configuration Manager does, how to get this job, salary information, and what it takes to succeed as a Configuration Manager.

The Configuration Manager plays an essential role in overseeing and ensuring the integrity and consistency of software products throughout the project lifecycle. This position involves managing, maintaining, and updating product configurations to support various stages of development, testing, and deployment. By establishing and enforcing clear configuration management policies and procedures, the Configuration Manager facilitates smooth transitions between project phases, minimizes errors, and enhances overall product quality. Their efforts enable teams to efficiently track and implement changes, fostering a collaborative environment where updates are seamlessly integrated and aligned with project goals. Through meticulous organization and coordination, the Configuration Manager supports the successful delivery of software solutions that meet both customer expectations and industry standards.

Configuration Manager Job Duties

  • Develop and implement configuration management policies and procedures to ensure a standardized approach to the management of all system components.
  • Identify and document the functional and physical attributes of software and hardware within the system, ensuring all items are registered in the Configuration Management Database (CMDB).
  • Coordinate with development, operations, and project management teams to establish baselines and control configuration changes, ensuring integrity and traceability of configurations throughout the system lifecycle.
  • Perform configuration audits to verify that physical and logical configurations comply with the defined and documented standards, and resolve any discrepancies identified.
  • Manage the change control process, including the evaluation, coordination, approval or rejection, and implementation of all changes to the configuration items.
  • Facilitate the Configuration Control Board (CCB) meetings to discuss and decide on proposed changes, ensuring that decisions are documented and communicated to all relevant stakeholders.
  • Oversee the release management process, ensuring that only approved and validated changes are deployed into the production environment.
  • Develop and maintain configuration management reports and metrics to track the status of configuration items, changes, and compliance with policies and standards, including the management of software licenses and version control.

Configuration Manager Salary & Outlook

Factors affecting a Configuration Manager’s salary include industry sector (e.g., defense, IT, manufacturing), company size, years of experience, specific skill set (e.g., proficiency in configuration management tools, understanding of compliance standards), and the complexity of the projects managed. Higher responsibility levels, such as overseeing large teams or critical systems, also elevate compensation.

  • Median Annual Salary: $110,250 ($53/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $145,000 ($69.71/hour)

The employment of configuration managers is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

This growth is driven by increasing complexity in software and hardware systems, necessitating meticulous version control and system integrity. Configuration Managers ensure seamless updates and compatibility, vital in our tech-dependent world, leading to their heightened demand across industries adopting sophisticated IT infrastructures.

Configuration Manager Job Requirements

Education: A Configuration Manager typically holds a Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree, with a significant number also possessing a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate. Relevant fields of study include Computer Science, Information Technology, Engineering, or a related discipline. Coursework should cover software development, systems engineering, project management, and database management to equip candidates with the necessary skills for managing complex systems configurations and ensuring alignment with organizational standards and requirements. Advanced degrees may focus on specialized areas within configuration management or IT project leadership.

Experience: Configuration Managers typically emerge from backgrounds rich in hands-on experience, often transitioning from roles that have honed their skills in system administration, software development, or IT project management. The ideal candidate has progressed through various levels of responsibility, gaining expertise in managing software configurations, overseeing version control, and ensuring the integrity of IT systems. On-the-job training plays a crucial role, supplemented by formal training programs that focus on specific configuration management tools and methodologies. This blend of practical experience and targeted training equips them to navigate the complexities of maintaining system stability and compliance in dynamic IT environments.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications beneficial for a Configuration Manager include the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) certification. No specific licenses are typically required for this role.

Configuration Manager Skills

System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM): Professionals use SCCM to deploy, manage, and update software across various devices within an organization, streamlining IT operations and enhancing system security. Skills include creating software distribution and update policies, managing hardware and software inventories, and ensuring adherence to company IT policies.

Automation Scripting: Configuration Managers employ scripts to automate repetitive tasks and configurations, improving efficiency and accuracy in system standards and compliance maintenance. This skill is pivotal for deploying updates and managing environments at scale, reducing manual intervention and error rates.

Patch Management: The process involves identifying, testing, and applying software updates and patches to keep systems secure and operational, minimizing vulnerabilities and downtime. It requires a careful approach to scheduling and deployment to balance swift action with the potential impact on system stability and user productivity.

Software Deployment: Orchestrating the release and distribution of software across various environments, Configuration Managers ensure updates and installations are seamless, without disrupting user productivity or system stability. This involves planning, scheduling, and monitoring software package deployments to meet organizational needs and compliance standards, while addressing any issues that arise.

Compliance Auditing: Conducting thorough reviews to ensure systems and processes comply with established standards and regulatory requirements, this skill involves identifying discrepancies and implementing adjustments to maintain compliance. A deep knowledge of both internal policies and external regulations is essential for effective auditing and recommending corrective actions.

Inventory Management: Tracking and documenting all hardware and software assets within an organization requires a detailed approach, ensuring each item’s lifecycle is accurately monitored from acquisition through disposal. Configuration Managers optimize asset utilization, reduce unnecessary expenditures, and maintain compliance with licensing and regulatory requirements through effective inventory management.

Configuration Manager Work Environment

Configuration Managers often find themselves in dynamic office settings, where the blend of traditional and modern workspaces caters to the collaborative and individual tasks required by their role. The environment is equipped with advanced software tools essential for tracking changes, managing configurations, and ensuring system integrity, reflecting the high reliance on technology in their daily operations.

Work hours tend to align with the standard office schedule, yet the nature of the job allows for some flexibility, accommodating project deadlines and critical updates. This flexibility is a nod to the evolving work-life balance preferences, with remote work options becoming more common.

The social fabric of the workplace is professional yet supportive, fostering a culture where knowledge sharing and teamwork are encouraged. This atmosphere aids in navigating the complexities of the job while also promoting professional growth. Safety protocols and ergonomic considerations are in place, ensuring a healthy work environment.

Travel is minimal, but virtual collaboration with teams and stakeholders across different locations is frequent, highlighting the role’s interconnectedness within the organization.

Advancement Prospects

A Configuration Manager can advance to senior management roles, such as a Senior Configuration Manager or Configuration Management Director, by demonstrating expertise in managing complex systems and leading successful configuration management initiatives. Mastery in tools like Ansible, Puppet, or Chef, coupled with a deep understanding of ITIL practices, significantly enhances promotion prospects.

Progression may also involve transitioning into broader IT management roles, where skills in configuration management are applied to oversee IT operations or project management. Excelling in cross-functional collaboration and strategic planning is crucial for such transitions.

To achieve these advancements, a Configuration Manager should focus on delivering high-impact projects that showcase their ability to improve system reliability and efficiency. Leadership in cross-departmental projects also highlights their capability to manage broader IT functions, paving the way for career growth.


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