Apparatus and method for monitoring parameters that govern the operational characteristics of a network device, including the use of templates for generating configuration records of network devices of a selected model type. A database of models is provided, each model representing an associated network device and including attribute values for the parameters of the associated network device. Templates are used to screen a model in order to retrieve values for each of the attributes and create a configuration record. The configuration records may be stored in the configuration manager or other storage device, and/or transferred to the pre-existing model database for use by a network management system in reconfiguring the associated network devices. Additionally, a method and apparatus is provided that defines network groups, defines network policies for groups, determines conflicts, and resolves conflicts among groups and devices. This system for configuration management is less time consuming, expensive, and error prone than prior systems.