What numbering scheme to use for naming CM items?

Deborah Katz's picture
Deborah Katz asked on February 19, 2013 - 4:51pm | Replies (3).

I'm setting up a documentation library for a customer on a shared directory pending transfer to SharePoint later in the year. Per the customer’s request, the document ID numbers should contain an abbreviation for the team (e.g., CM for Configuration Management, EA for Enterprise Architecture, and SI for Systems Infrastructure). I'm adding docs related to Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). 

I don't know whether to number these docs as CM, EA, or SI. Or whether to add a new abbreviation, maybe OTH for Other (which seems sub-optimal). Examples of the documents are:

Configuring SCCM
Installing SCCM
Importing Drivers into SCCM
Installing System Center Client on Servers
Configuring SCCM Client Policies
Create a Package in SCCM


We will later add documents for two other apps in the System Center suite: Operations Manager and Service Manager. I can see having similar questions about these… with additional abbreviations being M&M for Management & Monitoring and HD for Help Desk.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated!

3 Answers

Bob Aiello's picture
Bob Aiello replied on February 20, 2013 - 11:42am.

Hi Deborah,

you are asking a very good question. In classic configuration management we say that there are four key functions - configuration identification, status accounting, change control and configuration audit. Your question relates to naming conventions which is a key aspect of configuration identification. Every software configuration management plan (SCMP) should have a corporate standard for naming conventions.

That said, naming conventions often differ from one organizationt to another. The important thing is that you have a documented standard so that everyone is on the same page. If I was there, I would probably ask a few people for their suggestions. The best conventions are developed in a collaborative way - which is also how we write standards.

Make sure that you check with your sharepoint administrators because they may have already decided on some naming standards and actually want your input.

Above all, keep it simple and communicate the convention to all stakeholders.

I do like using a two or three letter functional prefix and then number. For releass we typically use major-minor-bugfix.

Let's have some other folks offer their best practices!

Bob Aiello
Editor in Chief

Pradeep Prabhu's picture

Hi Deborah,

This is a good question. 

The naming conventions for Configuration Items (CI) varies between organizations. It will be really helpful if you could talk to the clients and other team members to decide a naming convention. 

I see a couple of scenarios:

1. If your organization has already established naming conventions for CI's other than the documentation like software or hardware assets, it will be useful to utilize those conventions for naming your documents. For instance, if some software has a short name like SF and if you're maintaining the documentation for configuring this software, then you might consider naming it something like: D.C.SF.v where D means documentation, C means Configuration, SF means software and v is the version of the software. So, if someone is trying to access the documentation for configuring the software, they can easily identify it by searching for D.C.SF.v in Sharepoint.

2. If your organization doesn't have any established naming conventions for any CI's, it would be helpful to identify naming conventions that are unique and easily identifiable. Since documentation can be just one CI among a whole bunch of assets, it will be useful to follow conventions like:

<Superset>.<subset>.<type of documentation>.<CI>.<v>

Here <Superset> can be a D for Documentation, <subset> can be multiple versions of documents, <type of documentation> can be the type such as Installing(I)/configuring(C) etc., ,<CI> is the actual CI whose documentation we're addressing like say M for Microsoft, O for Office etc., and <v> is the version of the software like Office 98/professional/2000 etc.,

Hope this helps!



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Deborah Katz's picture

Gentlemen, thank you both for your reply. I very much appreciate your thoughts. In terms of the immediate question, after consulting with the team, it looks like our Systems Infrastructure people will use the documents the most, so for now we will classify them under SI. Thanks again!

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