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.

Configuring process flows and approvals

The Change Management implementation involves the configuration of process flows and approvals. These two are combined here, because process flows are used with the configuration of the approval process (used to define when an approval process will take place) and approval mappings (used to define the approvers).

Overview

Change Management uses the data in the process flow and the approval process configuration forms to drive the change request through the change control process flow.

You must review the out-of-the-box standard process flow and approval process configuration data, because it is important to understand the data, how it is leveraged, and to determine whether you need to create additional configuration data to accommodate your use cases.

You can watch the following video that shows how to create a custom process flow in change management:


 https://youtu.be/fWsXZjwQbJA


Best practice

Because the out-of-the-box standard process handles most uses cases, most implementations of the Change Management application do not require the creation of additional process flow and approval process configuration data.

We recommend that you do not modify the out-of-the-box data in these forms and do not use any out-of-the-box data that you do not want to leverage, or create new records in its place.

For more information about configuring approvals, see Configuring Change Management approvals.

You can create and modify custom process flows, which determine the change lifecycle. You must associate a custom process flow with the appropriate change template or templates. Then, when the user with appropriate permissions selects the template on the form, the custom process flow applies to the change request.

The process determines the status flow. You must create a unique approval process for each custom process flow. The process flow data dictates the state transitions of the change request within the different stages of the Standard Process flow.

The following process flow configuration records are provided out of the box:

  • Standard Process
  • Standard Process - Automation System—This modified version of the Standard Process uses a subset of the process stages that can be leveraged by integrations that create change records. In this process flow, the change request goes directly from the Draft to the Planning In Progress state, which is in the Assessment, Planning, and Scheduling stage.

The application does not modify the out-of-the-box records because these are considered system records as denoted by the Process Flow Type field. The application creates new process flow configuration records, which have a Custom Process Flow Type value. Currently, the custom process flows are leveraged using change templates; that is, you can configure a template to invoke one of these custom flows. Because these flows are invoked using templates, you can create very specific flows for a wide range of uses cases. For example, you can create a template that is related to a specific CI and attach a specific change process flow for that CI. 

Important

To create or modify a custom process flow, you must have either Infrastructure Change Configuration or AR Admin permission. Regardless of permissions, you cannot modify the out-of-the-box system process flows.

To create a custom process flow

You create the custom process flow in two stages. First, you complete the fields on the form. Then, after you click Save, you add the status transitions.

  1. From the Application Administration Console, click the Custom Configuration tab.
  2. From the Application Settings list, select Change Management > Advanced Options > Process Flow Configuration, and then click Open.
  3. On the Progress Flow Configuration form, complete the following information:
    • Company—Select the company to which the process flow applies. If the process flow applies to all companies, select Global.
    • Process Flow Name—Enter a descriptive name. When a change request uses the process, the process flow name is recorded on a work info record.
  4. Ensure that the status is set to a non enabled status, such as Proposed, because status transitions cannot be added to the custom process flow until the form is first saved.
  5. Click Save.
    You can now add the status transitions.
  6. Click Add.
    You can either copy status transitions from another process or add transitions.
  7. If you copy status transitions from another process, modify the status transitions as appropriate.
  8. If you do not copy status transitions, add the status transitions by performing the following steps:
    1. In the Add Status Flow dialog box, select the Next Stage and Next Status values. 
      For the first status transition, the Current Stage is Initiate and the Current Status is Draft, as illustrated in the following figure: 

    2. Click Add
      Until the Next Status value is Closed, the Add Status Flow dialog box refreshes to the next stage. The Current Stage and Current Status fields display the values that you selected.
    3. Repeat steps 8a and 8b until you have added status transitions to bring the process flow to the Close stage and Closed status.

      Recommendation

      Do not create a custom flow that skips the Completed status.

    4. Click Close
      The Process Flow Configuration form displays the status transitions in the Process Flow Lifecycle table.
  9. Click Save.

To associate the process flow with a change template

  1. From the Application Administration Console, click the Custom Configuration tab.
  2. From the Application Settings list, select Change Management > Template > Template, and then click Open.
  3. Either search for and open an existing change template, or create a new change template.
  4. Click the Process Flow tab.
  5. In the Change Process Flow field, select the custom process flow. 
    The Status Transition field displays a textual representation of the status flow transitions.
  6. Click Save.

To define an approval process for a custom change process flow

  1. From the Application Administration Console, click the Custom Configuration tab.
  2. From the Application Settings list, select Foundation > Advanced Options > Approval Process Configuration, and then click Open.
  3. In the Change Process Flow field, select the custom process flow.
  4. On the Status Flow tab, complete the following fields:
    • Begin—Status for which approval is required to continue
    • Approved—Status to which the change request moves upon approval. This value can be any status after the value selected in the Begin field.
    • Rejected—Status to which the change request moves upon rejection. This value can be Rejected, Pending, Closed, Cancelled, or any status before the value selected in the Begin field.
    • No Approver—Status to which the change request moves if no approver is mapped for this stage. This value can be any status.

      Example

      Calbro Services configures the approval process for the custom process flow. Calbro Services requires approval to move from the Review & Authorize stage (with the status of Request For Change) to the Implement stage (with the status of Implementation in Progress). They complete the status fields as follows:

      • Begin—Request For Change
      • Approved—Implementation In Progress
      • Rejected—Rejected
      • No Approver—Implementation In Progress
  5. Click Save.

For additional information, you can view the Change Management custom process flow BMC Communities blog post.

Example of emergency process flow configuration

This example explains the process of creating a new emergency process flow with a streamlined stage and state flow.

When you are creating this flow, you will be using the Stages of a change request.

Best practice

We recommend that you move your state transitions flow in a forward direction. For example, the change request state transition must be Planning In Progress to Scheduled and not Scheduled to Planning In Progress.

To create a new flow

  1. Open the Process Flow Configuration form and click New request.



  2. Select the company that you want this flow to be applicable for.
    If you want the flow to be applicable for all the companies defined in your system, select - Global –, or select a specific company from the list. In this example, we will select Calbro Services.

    Important

    If you need to have two or more companies, but not all companies, create one process flow configuration record for each company that is required.

  3. Enter the Process Flow Name.
    In our example, we will enter Emergency Process and save the record. 
    To re-open the same record in Edit (or Modify) mode, click New search from the top menu bar, enter the value as Emergency Process in the Process Flow Name field, and click Search.



  4. Click Add to create the state flow or status lifecycle for this new process.  
    This process is streamlined, so that when we create an emergency change request, after the change request is moved past the Draft state, the status will be set to Schedule For Approval. From here, if there are approvals, they will stay in this state until they are approved. After approvals, the next state to be set is Scheduled; then Implementation In Progress; then Completed, and finally the last state will be Closed. 

    Important

    When you create the first state flow entry, the system asks you if you want to copy an existing set of state flows from an existing process flow configuration record. This option is to assist with the use cases where you want to copy an existing state flow, simply tweak it, or use it for your process. In our example, we will be creating the state flows from scratch.

    1. The first entry should be Draft to Scheduled For Approval. 
      When you select the state, you first need to select the stage. In this example, the Scheduled For Approval state exists under the Plan & Schedule stage.




    2. After selecting the values for Next Stage and Next State, click Add to save this part of the flow. 
      For the first flow entry, the following message states that a required flow transition will also be created, because the application workflow requires this.



    3. The second entry should be Scheduled For Approval to Scheduled. 
      The Scheduled state can be found under the Plan & Schedule stage. The Current Stage and Current State are automatically set based on the last entry values for the Next Stage and Next State fields.



    4. The third entry should be Scheduled to Implementation In Progress.
    5. The fourth entry should be Implementation In Progress to Completed.
    6. The final entry should be Completed to Closed to end the flow.

      Best practice

      We recommend this entry always be your final entry for any state flow. 

    7. After all the entries are created, close the Add Status Flow window.
      The entries are then displayed in the Process Status Lifecycle table as shown below.
    8. Set the Status to Enabled and click Save.
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