This documentation supports the 21.05 version of BMC Helix ITSM: Change Management. To view an earlier version, select the version from the product version menu.

Approving change requests in the Approval stage

This second approval stage for the change request is also referred to as the Implementation Approval stage. Within the lifecycle of the change request, there are several possible approval phases, which vary depending on how your organization configures and implements the changes. Some changes bypass the approval process altogether. The application administrator determines which change requests require approval, what kind of approval process the change requests must undergo, and who the approvers are. The support staff and management can add more approvers to the list. For more information, see Managing approvers

For the Standard change class, the process would be to bypass this approval stage.

Tip

The SMPM process model specifies that the best practice is to include an approval after the risk and impact analysis of a change request.

Related topics

For information about reviewing proposed change requests and providing or denying approval, see How approvals are handled for emergency change requests.

For information about adding approvers, see Managing approvers.



In this stage, the change approvers assess and approve the change request for implementation. This approval phase typically involves the change manager as an approver, especially if the previous Change Plan and Schedule review stage was bypassed. The change manager (or change coordinator) controls the overall progress of a change request. Change managers submit the requests for approval and monitor the approval process. As a manager, you might be required to review change requests for approval. Typically, the implementation team, development manager, QA manager, as well as other SMEs that can review the plans.

The following process flow diagram explains the recommended steps and the roles that play a part in the Implementation Approval stage.

The approvers and the approval phase are viewable on the change form. Approvers are notified when a change request requires their approval. If an approval is reassigned, the new approver is notified. 

When the change request is in the Approval phase, the following fields cannot be modified:

  • Services CI
  • Impact
  • Urgency
  • Priority
  • Risk Level
  • Status
  • Class
  • Change Location
  • Change Manager details
  • Change Coordinator
  • Relationships
  • Operation Categorization
  • Product Categorization
  • Financial Information
  • Any Date fields

An approver might not have have access to the Change Management application to approve a change request. If the approver's access permission does not allow access to the change request, the approver can use Approval Central to approve change requests. For more information, see, Approving changes using Approval Central.

Important

The change request is refreshed when no approvers are found for an approval phase or when an approver approves the change request.

Submit the change request for approval after you have completed the change request planning and have provided all the information that the approvers require to review the change request.

When the change request requires an approval move to the next stage, the word Approval is displayed on the Process Status Flow bar. You can configure the approval settings to require one or all approvers. For more information about the configuration options, see  Defining roles for an approval process Open link  in the AR System online documentation.

After reviewing the change request, approvers can approve it, reject it, or put it on hold if more information is required. When an approver approves the change request, the request is refreshed and the updated approval status is displayed in the Approval table on the change form. You can also configure the application to allow approvers to approve or reject change requests via email. For more information about approvals through email, see Approving or rejecting requests via email

If a technical error occurs when the request is sent for an approval, the change request moves to the Pending status with a status reason as Approval Error. The change coordinator should work with the change manager if the change request is rejected during the approval stage. After the change request is corrected, it can be restarted, which will take it back to the Plan and Schedule Review stage. After the change request is approved for implementation, it proceeds to the Implementing change requests in the Implementation stage

BMC Helix ITSM: Change Management integrates fully with the Approval Server for business, technical, and financial approvals.

An approver must:

  • Be defined in the ITSM Foundational People form.
  • Be assigned appropriate application permissions. For example, Infrastructure Change Viewer is sufficient for a user who only needs to approve a request through the Approval Central.
  • Have a Action Request System Read license.
  • Have the functional role of Infrastructure Change Approver.

Additionally, the server must have the appropriate ITSM application license.

Important

The Change Management application is shipped with defined approval processes. Most companies should not have to define additional approval processes. However, you can use the Approval Process Configuration form to define additional approval processes for your company. For more information, see Approval processes provided out-of-the-box for BMC Change Management.

In the Change Management application, administrators can define an approval process in which a series of people must review and approve a proposed change request or release request. Only after all approvals are granted can the change request or release request be moved to the next status. A change request goes through several phases as it progresses through its lifecycle. Approvers are responsible for reviewing their assigned change requests, and for approving or rejecting them. Approvers are configured by the application administrator and are responsible for change requests with a specific categorization and location. The application administrator also determines which types of change requests need approval, and what type of approval process they require. As the change request moves from one status to another, the default workflow on the change request queries the approval server to find out which approval process to use, and then executes it.

For example, when a change request moves from the Draft status into the Review phase (shown in the following figure), the Approval Server checks the Review approval process. If the application administrator mapped an approver to the Review process, the change request must be approved by that approver before it moves to the next stage. Also, the Class and Timing Reason fields are locked by the workflow. You cannot make modifications to the values set in these fields until the change request is approved and it moves to the next status in its lifecycle.

The Approve option is enabled in the Process Flow bar when a change request is sent for approval.

When you click the Approve option, the change request is approved and it moves to the next status in its lifecycle. In the case of an auto-approval (no approver is assigned), the change form is refreshed to show the updated change status after approval.

Important

The Approve option is displayed to all users, even if the user is not an approver for that change request. If a user, who is not an approver for that change request, clicks the approve option, the following error message is displayed:

You are not currently defined as an alternate for any user and you are not on the Approvers list for this approval. (ARERR 45802).

The change manager or change coordinator controls the overall progression of a change request, and can perform approvals at several points in the change lifecycle. For change requests in the Request for Change status with no approvers, the change manager and the change coordinator can move the change forward to Planning In Progress, cancel it, or send it back to the requester by assigning it a status of Draft. After a change is planned and built, the change request is set to a status of Scheduled for Review. Once again, the change manager or change coordinator has the opportunity to review change plans, and schedules, before moving the change to the Implementation Approval phase.

The following users perform the approval process:

Approver

Responsibility

Application administrator

Selects the approval process, and if necessary, modifies the approval rules. Configures the approval mappings.

For more information, see Configuring approval mappings for change and release management.

Change manager (or change coordinator)

Monitors the approval process to make sure that it proceeds as expected. The change manager also determines which types of change requests need approval, and in some cases, selects the approvers.

Change approvers

Reviews the change request and approves or rejects the request. If approvers need more information about a change request, they can request it. Their signature is put on hold while they are waiting for the information and the status is set to More Information.

Requester

Checks the status of the change request and follows the approval process throughout its cycle.

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