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This documentation supports the 19.08 version of Change Management.

To view an earlier version, select the version from the Product version menu.

Using Schedule Assist to search for available times

The Schedule Assist tool helps you create schedules. You can search for available time segments that you can schedule a change request around. Your search takes into account the selected time segments tied to the change request's categorization. You can define time segments or use time segments around the associated CIs. Finally, you can include the associated CIs unavailable time segments to find a Scheduled Start or Scheduled End Date and Time for the change request.

Important

The Schedule Assist tool is also available on the Release form. For more information, see Specifying the business justification.

Items shown in the Global Time Segments table displayed on the Time Segment Analysis window are based upon the following criteria:

  • Start Search Date Range
  • End Search Date Range

The table shows Business Events and Operational Categorization Location time segments that match the Operational Categorization, and the Change Location of the current change, and any items that are global. It also shows items that are an exact match of the Categorization and Location and those above it. For example, suppose that the Location of the change request uses the following parameters:

  • Company = Calbro Services
  • Region = West
  • Site Group = California
  • Site = Sunnyvale

After determining the existence of any Location matches, the search would then match any business event records that match all four parameters or less. If a business event existed for Company = Calbro Services, this time segment would match also.

The date range also influences which time segments appear. This criterion affects all tables that show time segments. The table shows any items that intersect the Start Date and End Date search range. If the Start Date range is 3/1/08 and the End Date Range is 3/15/08, examples of what it might include are the following business time segments:

  • Business time segment 1/1/08 to 3/8/08
  • Business time segment 3/10/08 to 3/31/08
  • Business time segment 1/1/08 to 7/1/08

For example, you create a normal change request to upgrade the application server. The change manager relates the application service CI to the change request. Then you use the Schedule Assist tool to determine the next available window to schedule this change request. You indicate the potential start and end dates, that the Unavailability times at Level 20 should be used, and that the window needs to be scheduled for 1 hour. When you click the Find Next Avail Time button, the next available time is displayed, given those criteria. After you locate an available time, you can schedule that time segment to block out that time so it is no longer available for the next change request.

Important

Schedule Assist does not enforce that a change request has to be scheduled in certain windows or prevent you from scheduling a change request during any unavailable or available time. You might have valid reasons for scheduling a change request during an unavailable window. For example, if you know System A is down for maintenance from 9:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. on Saturday night, you might schedule another change request for related System B during that same window since System A would already be down.

To search available times for change requests

  1. Open a change request.
  2. On the Change Form, to search for available times, make sure you enter the Change Location information.
  3. Click the Categorization tab.
    Make sure you enter the Operational Category information and click Save.
  4. Click the Date/System tab.

  5. Click the icon.
    The Time Segment Analysis window is displayed. You use this window to analyze the time segments and search for available times. The following fields are available:

    Field

    Description

    Start Search Date Range

    Set by default to the current date.

    End Search Date Range

    Set by default to the current date plus 30 days. Use these dates to filter the information in the table fields.

    Global Time Segments

    Shows all time segments tied to the change. By default, all Time Segments are selected.

    Associated CI's

    Shows a list of the CIs tied to the change that have an entity tied to CI.

    CI's Available/Unavailable Times

    Shows available or unavailable times tied to the selected CI. If one CI is selected from the Associated CIs table and you press =>, only the Time segment tied to that CI appears. For each additional CI selected on the Associated CIs table, all the associated time segments to each of the selected CIs appear when you click =>.

    • If you select Available times as a type, the Use Available button is enabled. Clicking Use Available fills the Available Start Date/Time+ and Available End Date/Time+ fields from the selected record.
      If more than one record is selected, only the first selected record is used to fill the fields. If more than one CI is selected when you click Use Available, only the first selected record is used.
    • If there are unavailable times, all times that are selected from the unavailable table, plus the selected global blackouts on the top, plus the Duration and Level fields are used in the calculation when you use the Find Next Avail Time button or the Create Next Free Time button (except for those times defined using the Schedule Time Segment button).

    Duration

    Defines the length and level of the time segment. For example, you can define a level 10 time segment of 2 hours.

    Available Start Date/Time+

    Start date and time of available time segment

    Find Next Avail Time

    Factors in the duration you specified and returns the next available time. The time segment is then entered into the Available Start Date/Time+ and Available End Date/Time+ fields.

    If you press Enter in the Available Start Date/Time+ field, the duration is added to the Available Start Date/Time+ field and the Available End Date/Time fields. You can manually set the TS Start Date/Time+ field to a specific date or time to give a new start Date to find the next available time segment.

    Schedule Time Segment

    Generates the next available time segment based on all the selected time segments in the tables on the Time Segment Analysis form. You can then can associate it to a particular CI that is tied to the change request.

    Time segments that were created using this button are not included in the calculation with the Create Next Free Time button or the Find Next Avail Time button. Because the next free time was generated for a particular change request, the time that was set for the current change is not blocked out.

    Next

    Goes to the next page of the form.

    Close

    Closes the window without returning the information to the change request.

  6. In the Time Segment Analysis window, enter information to define the time segments needed for the CIs.
    This enables you to define new time segments for CIs based on selected time segments and unavailable times of other CIs. In Change Management, you can only define time segments with a duration type of One Time.
    After you define the time segments, the change coordinator or the change manager can schedule the change request based on the selected unavailable items or based on an Available schedule.
  7. Click Find Next Available Time.
    Based on all the selected time segments in the tables on the Time Segment Analysis form, the time segment is entered into the Available Start Date/Time+ and Available End Date/Time+ fields.
  8. Click Schedule Time Segment.
  9. On the The Associate Time Segment to CIs dialog box, use the following steps to associate CIs to time segments:
    1. Select the CI to associate the time segment to.
    2. Enter a description of the time segment.
      If your server is in a different time zone than the client, make sure you include this in your description. For more information, see Understanding server time, time zones, and time segments.
    3. Click Create Time Segment.
    4. Close the dialog box.
      The time segment is generated and associated to the CI.
      The actual date and time might not be exactly what you specified, if the same time segment has been selected. If so, the first available time is used for the specified CIs. This functionality is similar to a calendar system. If you try to reserve a conference room, and you do not book it immediately, someone might take the room before you book it.
  10. Click Next.
    The Time Segment Analysis window helps the support person pick a scheduled start date and end date of the change request. From looking at the time segments, you can try to plan your change around the specified time segment.
    The Time Segment Analysis window is displayed again, to enable you schedule dates. The scheduled start date and end date of the change request does not have to match the unavailable time segments. If you have a time segment from 1/30/06 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 P.M., your scheduled change does not have to be 1/30/06 from 2:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. The actual change process can be much longer. Your scheduled change might go from 1/25/06 8:00 A.M. to 2/2/06 8:00 A.M. You might need to perform additional duties to prepare for the change and then allot additional time afterwards to verify that the change was successful.

    Time Segment Analysis window — Scheduling dates


    The CI's Available/Unavailable Time table shows all time segments associated to all the CIs.
    The following fields are available to set the Schedule Start and Scheduled End Date/Time of the change request:

    Field

    Description

    Start Search Date Range

    Set by default to the current date.

    End Search Date Range

    Set by default to current date plus 30 days. Use these dates to filter what appears in the table fields.

    Global Time Segments

    Shows all time segments for the change request.

    CI's Available/Unavailable Times

    Shows available or unavailable times that are tied to the selected CI.

    • If you select Available in the Type field, you can use one of the Available times to set the scheduled start and end dates.
    • If you select Unavailable, you can manually enter a date, or use the date based on the information about the Available times shown for the global time segments.

    Use Available

    If you select Available times as a type, the Use Available button is enabled. Clicking Use Available fills the Available Start Date/Time+ and Available End Date/Time+ fields from the selected record.

    If more than one record is selected, only the first selected record is used to fill the fields. If more than one CI is selected when you click the Use Available, only the first selected record is used.

    Scheduled Start Date/Time

    Enables you select a start date and time.

    Scheduled End Date/Time

    Enables you to select an end date and time.

    Previous

    Goes to the previous page of the form.

    Next

    Returns the Schedule Start Date/Time+ and Scheduled End Date/Time+ values back to the change request.

    Close

    Closes the window without returning the information to the change request.

  11. Enter the scheduled start date and end date.
  12. Click Next.
    The change request appears, with the time segment values returned.
  13. Save the change request.
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