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Creating and managing change requests using Smart IT

Starting with version 1.1, BMC Remedy with Smart IT is integrated with BMC Change Management to provide an interface for planning, scheduling, implementing, and tracking changes that is simple to learn and use, mobile, and collaborative. This topic describes how users in your organization can use Smart IT to create change requests and manage them throughout their lifecycle.

Notes

You must have correct permissions to access change management functionality in Smart IT. For more information, see the link for "Smart IT Permissions" in Related topics.

The following information is included:

Overview of change management with Smart IT

Smart IT helps you manage change requests through the following phases:

Initiate and record

Smart IT provides a wizard-like interface for creating change requests with or without a change template. The wizard helps you provide essential information about the change, such as its class (standard, normal, no impact, emergency, expedited, latent), affected configuration items (CIs), scheduled dates, risk level, and supporting documents. After you have provided a minimum set of data, you can save the change request as Draft.

Some information is filled in automatically for you, even if you do not use a template. For example, the system assumes that you are requesting the change for yourself, and the company and location information defaults to your company and location. If you have the role of Change Coordinator in your support group, you are automatically assigned as the change coordinator for the change request. If you use a template, values in the template take precedence over system defaults. While the change request is in Draft status, you can also manually update values in all fields. As the change progresses through the stages of its lifecycle, and depending on the class of change, certain fields cannot be updated. For more information, see Implement.

The wizard allows you to search for CIs based on filter criteria such as CI type, company, keyword, or owner. After you initiate a CI search based on a set of criteria, you can initiate additional, parallel searches to find CIs as quickly as possible.

An appropriate risk level is provided if you create the change request by using a template. You can also have the system calculate the risk level by answering questions configured by the administrator, or you can manually select a risk level from 1 (lower risk) to 5 (higher risk). If you need to perform impact analysis (for example, by using the BMC Atrium Impact Simulator) or if you want to generate risk reports, you must use the mid-tier based UI for the BMC Change Management application in the BMC Remedy IT Service Management (ITSM) Suite. See "Atrium Impact Simulator analysis for change requests" and "Working with reports" in Related topics.

You can provide various kinds of documentation for a change request in Smart IT, such as a Business Justification, Technical Design, Backout Plan, and Test Plan. You must determine the type and number of documents that are needed based on the class of change and the requirements of your organization. You can enter information as text or you can upload files. People reviewing and updating the change can also add notes, such as the results of installation processes and testing.

Review and authorize

Designated approvers can review change request details and approve or reject the change by using Smart IT. For more information, see "Approving change requests" in Related topics.

Plan and schedule

You can schedule dates for the change in Smart IT based on your knowledge and research about planned releases, changes, and outages, or you can simply specify a date by which the change should be completed. If you need to use a robust change calendar that shows all changes and outages in the system for affected CIs, or if you want to perform collision detection, you must use the mid-tier based UI for the BMC Change Management application in the BMC Remedy ITSM Suite. See "Using the Calendar" and "Using Collision Detection" in Related topics.

After you save the initial draft of a change request, you can link related tickets such as changes, incidents, and service requests (see "Scenarios for creating tickets using Smart IT" in Related topics). If the change request was created from an incident or service request, then that ticket is automatically linked as a related item. To link a change request to other types of related requests (such as problem investigations and known errors), you must use the mid-tier based UI for the BMC Change Management application in the BMC Remedy ITSM Suite.

Note

Smart IT does not support the following related request types, which are supported in the BMC Change Management application

  • CI Unavailability (Outage)
  • Software Library Item
  • LDAP Object
  • Release

Even if you relate these types of requests to a change request in the BMC Change Management application, they will not appear as related items when you view the change request in Smart IT. For more information, see "Related request types for BMC Change Management and Release Management" in Related topics.

While planning the change request, you can also create tasks. See Implement for more information.

Implement

The work needed to complete a change is accomplished through the use of tasks. A task represents a specific set of steps that is assigned to a task implementer. The task implementer can locate assigned tasks by using the Ticket Console. If you use a change template to create a change request, any tasks that are needed to complete the change are automatically included. After the change is initiated, you can also add and assign tasks by using task and task group templates, or by adding ad hoc tasks. For more information, see "Adding tasks to tickets in Smart IT" in Related topics.

Complete and close

In Smart IT, the change request lifecycle is managed through status transitions. For example, when you want to obtain business approval for a change request, set the status to Request for Authorization. Depending on the class of change and the status value, you cannot modify certain details in a change request. For example, when the status is Request for Authorization, you cannot modify the class, risk level, categorization, and other information, because doing so would recharacterize the scope and impact of the change.

Some status transitions occur automatically. For example, when all of the tasks have been completed, the change request status changes to Completed. After recording the actual dates for the change and entering any final notes, you can set the status to Closed.

Note

When moving a Change request from the Implementation in Progress status to Completed status, an error is displayed if BMC Remedy with Smart IT is used with BMC Remedy ITSM version 7.6.04. This is because the Performance Rating field, which was a mandatory field in versions 7.6.04 is not displayed on the Change form in Smart IT. So when a user attempts to move the request to the Completed status, the BMC Remedy ITSM system displays an error stating that a mandatory field is missing.

To avoid the error, add the Performance Rating field as a custom field to the Change form. For more details about adding a custom field, see "Adding custom fields to your views using Smart IT" in Related topics.

To create a change request in Smart IT

You create change requests by selecting Create New > Change Request. Your administrator might also have configured the system so that you can generate certain kinds of change requests through the Smart Recorder by submitting a service request. See How administrators configure this feature. If you need to copy an existing change request, use the mid-tier based UI for the the BMC Change Management application in the BMC Remedy ITSM Suite. See "Copying change requests" in Related topics.

You can use a change template provided by the administrator, or you can create the change request from scratch. In both cases, a wizard in Smart IT helps you enter the necessary information, as described in the following example.

Example of creating a change request by using Smart IT

Allen Allbrook is a specialist in the network infrastructure group. His manager, Mary Mann, asks him to reconfigure the routing table of some networking equipment. Because this activity might affect technical or business services in the company environment, Allen must submit a change request according to his company's policy. The change must be properly documented, assessed for risk, and approved.

Allen determines that this will be a “normal change” that affects the Network business service. Because no change template is available for this type of change, Allen must create the change from scratch:

  1. Allen opens Smart IT from his desktop browser and selects Create New > Change Request.
  2. He chooses the option to create a change request from scratch, and selects Normal from the available change classes. The wizard opens with some information prepopulated and required fields clearly marked.

    To use the change template option, Allen would need to search for a template by entering keywords that are part of the template name. For example, searching for network routing returns a list of change templates with names containing the words "network routing."

  3. In the Basics section of the wizard, Allen provides a short summary of the change needed, and he records the impacted site. Type-ahead functionality allows him to correctly populate the Requested For and Affected Service fields. Allen chooses to let the system select the best match for the change assignment.

    If Allen has the functional role of Change Coordinator, by default he is assigned as the change coordinator for change requests that he creates. If he were using a template, the change coordinator specified in the template (if any) would take precedence.

  4. In the CI section, Allen performs a few concurrent searches to locate the affected network device and then relates the CI to the change request.
  5. Allen decides to enter additional information that is not required to create the initial change request:

    1. In the Dates section, Allen selects the I don't care about the schedule but I need it by this date option and specifies a date approximately 3 weeks from today.

      Allen might have specified Scheduled start and end dates if he had been more familiar with the overall schedule of changes and planned outages.

    2. In the Risks section, Allen answers a few questions that the system will use to calculate the risk.
    3. In the Documents section, Allen selects the Requirements and Backout Plan documentation types and records some initial notes for each.

      Note

      Your organization might require specific types of documents depending on the class of change (such as Normal or Standard). For each type of documentation, you can record simple notes or upload files.

  6. Allen saves the change request, and it is created in Draft mode. 

The change request has been categorized and assigned to an appropriate support group. A link opens the affected service or device CI profile, where the newly created change request is shown as a related item.

Allen is notified about future updates to this change request in his Updates feed. When adding notes to the change request, he can reference additional team members with "@" mentions, and they will receive notifications in their Updates feeds.

How administrators configure Smart IT change management functionality

The administrator must ensure that users have the minimum permissions needed to access change management functionality in Smart IT. See "Smart IT permissions" in Related topics.

Risk assessment is based on settings in BMC Remedy IT Service Management. The administrator must configure risk factor questions and derived risk factors as explained in "Configuring risk assessment" in Related topics.

The administrator should also configure the change templates, task templates, and task group templates that are needed to implement change requests. See "Scenarios for creating tickets using Smart IT" in Related topics.

For standard changes, the administrator should consider creating a service request definition (SRD) that generates a change request automatically. This way, the change request can be initiated by submitting a service request through the Smart Recorder.

If your organization requires custom fields to capture additional data in change requests, the administrator can add those fields to the change wizard. For more information, see "Adding custom fields to your views using Smart IT" in Related topics.

Related topics

Managing your work with Smart IT

Scenarios for creating tickets using Smart IT

Adding tasks to tickets in Smart IT

Approving change requests

Smart IT Permissions

Adding custom fields to your views using Smart IT

Related request types for BMC Change Management and Release Management (BMC Change Management documentation)

Configuring risk assessment (BMC Change Management documentation)

Atrium Impact Simulator analysis for change requests (BMC Change Management documentation)

Working with reports (BMC Change Management documentation)

Using the Calendar (BMC Change Management documentation)

Using Collision Detection (BMC Change Management documentation)

Copying change requests (BMC Change Management documentation)

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