Overview of change management
IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) specifies that the primary objective of Change Management is to enable beneficial changes to be made, with minimum disruption to IT services. As your organization grows and matures, establishing a process for how you deal with change can translate into time and cost savings throughout your organization. Recognizing this need, Change Management provides the framework that you can use to define a change process that suits your specific business needs. Change Management allows you to make changes in a controlled way, reduce the risk to timely delivery of services, and align with business objectives.
The following topics are provided:
Overview of managing changes
When you discover a problem in your IT system due to recurring incidents and investigate the problem, you must identify the changes that to be made to permanently work around or solve the root cause. Creating a problem helps an IT organization to get to the root cause of incidents. You can create a problem and link the incidents that have led to the discovery of the problem. Additionally, you can link the configuration items that are impacted by this problem and the tasks and change requests that must be completed to resolve the problem.
When you create a change request, service outages marked as blackout periods may exist between the selected Scheduled Start and Scheduled End dates of the change request. You can view the service outages from the change schedule. By default, you cannot create change request by overriding conflicting service outages which are marked as blackout periods. However, depending on how the system administrator has configured your user settings, you may be able to create emergency change request by overriding conflicting service outages.
After you create the change request, you must link the configuration items that are impacted by this change request. Additionally, link the incidents and problems that have caused this change request and the tasks that must be completed to complete this change request. Then, assign the change requests to assessors. Based on the assessments for the change requests, you can for submit the change requests for approval.
BMC Remedyforce has integrated the Salesforce.com approval process with its change requests. When you submit the change request for approval, the change request is assigned to the assigned approver who is defined in the Salesforce.com approval process and an email message is sent to the approvers defined in the approval process. If you have assigned another staff member as your delegated approver, you must forward your approval email messages to the delegated approver. The approver can approve or reject the change request by clicking the link in the email and updating the change approval record or replying to the email with APPROVE, APPROVED, YES, REJECT, REJECTED, or NO in the first line of the email message.
If the change request is approved or rejected, you can complete it and close the change request.
Process flow for managing changes
This section describes the process flow used by BMC Remedyforce to address your change management needs. The general process flow for change management is:
|Define the problem (the need for a change)||A problem is the root cause of an incident or potential incident. A known error is a problem that has been successfully diagnosed and for which a temporary workaround or permanent solution to the known error has been identified. The goal for Problem Management is to minimize the adverse impact of incidents and problems on the business and to prevent the recurrence of the same problem. When several incidents with the same underlying problem are created, these incidents can be linked, building a case for change. You can get to the root cause of the problem and then initiate actions (tasks) that correct or improve the situation. Depending on the cost or effort involved to fix a problem, a problem can be left alone if a workaround is available. If a workaround is unavailable, consider a successful implementation of a change using Change Management.|
|Evaluate the impact of the problem||After you define a problem, you must evaluate the impact that problem might have on your organization. BMC Remedyforce provides the ability to associate an impact, urgency, and priority when evaluating a problem.|
|Create the change request|
The change management process begins when a problem is identified as large enough to warrant change (depending on the impact and priority). Change requests can be created for any situation, from changing vendors to changing procedures. At this stage, a change request is created and the process begins. When you create a change request, consider the reason for the change and review how you want to accomplish the change and what you must do if the implemented change does not accomplish its goal. You can implement the following types of change processes:
|Assess the change request (review the outcome of the change)||The next step in the change request process is to assess the cost, risks, and other factors, such as productivity, that might impact the organization. This is a critical stage of the process. Reports are an important source of information when making decisions about changes in your organization. Use the predefined reports available for change requests and problems to make your decisions while implementing the change management process.|
|Approve the change request||The approval process is an important stage in the change management process. Appropriate individuals in your organization can participate in the approval process (approve or reject), and add comments about their decision for the change request.|
|Create a task to implement the change||After the change request is approved, create tasks that define how the change request is to be implemented. You can associate multiple tasks with a change request.|
|View the schedule of changes||When you create a change request, you identify a start and end date for the change request. BMC Remedyforce provides the ability to view a schedule of changes for any given month based on the dates you enter. This schedule is color-coded and based on assigned change type.|
Roles involved in managing changes
When managing the change process, multiple roles are involved. The following table provides a list of those roles:
The Change Manager manages a Change Approval Board that is responsible for accepting or rejecting change requests. The Change Manager is directly responsible for:
|Assessor||If you are performing the role of an Assessor, you can use change assessments to provide assessment details on a change request. You can assess risks (technical, financial, and business), potential impact, required resources, and make recommendations.|
|Approver||If you are performing the role of an Approver, you approve change requests. The approver is responsible for entering a decision about approving or rejecting the change request.|
|Scheduler||If you are performing the role of a Scheduler, you can use the change schedule to view scheduled changes for any given month.|