Creating and managing change requests using Smart IT
BMC Remedy with Smart IT is integrated with BMC Change Management to provide a planning, scheduling, implementing, change-tracking interface 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.
The following information is included:
- Access to Change Management functionality in Smart IT depends upon the level of permissions. For example, Infrastructure Change Viewers cannot create change requests.
- In BMC Remedy ITSM, users with Infrastructure Change User permissions can modify a change request if they belong to either the Change Manager group or Change Coordinator group specified on the change request. In Smart IT, a user with Infrastructure Change User permissions can only modify a change request if:
- The user has the Change Manager functional role and belongs to the Change Manager group specified on the change request, or
- The user has the Change Coordinator functional role and belongs to the Change Coordinator group specified on the change request
For more information, see the link for "Smart IT Permissions" in Related topics.
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 fields are 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. In the universal client, search results appear in chunks of 100 CIs. You can select individual CIs, a chunk of 100 CIs, or all CIs returned in the search, and relate them to the change request.
You can initiate multiple, parallel searches to find CIs as quickly as possible. In the universal client, you can also save your CI search criteria as presets, so you can more easily run the same CI searches again. You can retrieve CI search presets from the universal client and from mobile clients.
If you relate a CI that has an outage, this outage does not automatically appear in Related Items in the change request details. You must manually add the outage to Related Items after you save the change request.
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 that the administrator has configured, or you can manually select a risk level from 1 (lower risk) to 5 (higher risk). 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 "Working with reports" in Related topics.
You can quickly assign the change request to yourself by using the Assign to me link. You can assign the ticket to yourself for the support group for which you are the change coordinator or change manager. For example, you are a change coordinator for 3 support groups. On the change request profile, when you click the Assign to me link, on the Update Assignment pane that is displayed on the right, you must select one support group out of the 3 support groups. For more information, see "Overview of information displayed on a ticket in Smart IT" in Related topics.
You can provide various kinds of documentation for a change request in Smart IT, such as 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. People reviewing and updating the change can also add notes such as the results of installation processes and testing. You can enter information as text or you can upload files.
When using Smart IT on mobile devices, you can attach files from the following locations:
- Files stored on the local devices
- Files stored on cloud storage such as, Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and Box.
On iOS devices, the Add Attachment option, and on Android devices, the From files and Dropbox options enables you to attach files that are on cloud storage when you create or edit change requests, and when you add a comment.
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 a specific start and end date range for a change in Smart IT, or you can simply specify a date by which the change should be completed. The dates you choose should avoid conflicts with other change requests that are related to the same CIs and are scheduled during the same time frame. Starting in version 1.3, Smart IT allows you to run impact analysis and collision detection for a change request. These functions help you identify all impacted CIs, and then manage any conflicts with other change requests and outages that affect the same CIs. The universal client also includes a change calendar that shows collisions in a graphical format. See "Managing collisions in Smart IT" and "Determining the impact of changes in Smart IT" in Related topics.
When you create a change request, the calendar does not show any other existing changes for the same period. In Smart IT only individual change request, and in case of collision, the corresponding change requests that have collision are displayed. When you create multiple change requests and add the same CI to the change requests, it pushes the calendar to show the collisions. In Mid tier, change calendar shows changes happening regardless of collision.
After you save the initial draft of a change request, you can link related tickets such as changes, incidents, and service requests (see "Relating items to the current ticket" in Related topics). If the change request was created from an incident or service request, that ticket is automatically linked as a related item.
You can also link outages to the change request, by relating an existing outage or creating a new outage (see "Relating items to the current ticket" in Related topics). CIs associated with the outage are automatically related to the change request and appear in Configuration Items in the change request details. (If you later remove the related outage, the associated CIs remain related to the change request. However, if you remove a CI that has an associated outage, then the relationships of both the CI and the outage are removed from the change request.)
Smart IT does not support the following related request types that are supported in the BMC Change Management application:
- Software Library Item
- LDAP Object
Even if you relate these types of requests to a change request in the BMC Change Management application, they do 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.
The work needed to complete a change is accomplished through the use of tasks. A task represents a specific set of steps and 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.
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 error occurs because the Performance Rating field, which was mandatory in version 7.6.04, is not displayed on the Change form in Smart IT. As a result, 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 Smart IT change management functionality. If you need to copy an existing change request, use the mid-tier-based UI for the BMC Change Management application in the BMC Remedy ITSM Suite. See "Copying change requests" in Related topics.
You can use a change template that the administrator provides, or you can create a new change request. 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 reconfiguration 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:
- Allen opens Smart IT from his desktop browser and selects Create New > Change Request.
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.
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.
- 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.
Allen decides to enter additional information that is not required to create the initial change request:
In the Dates section, Allen specifies a range of dates approximately 3 weeks from today.
- In the Risks section, Allen answers a few questions that the system uses to calculate risk.
In the Documents section, Allen selects the Requirements and Backout Plan documentation types and records some initial notes for each.
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.
- Allen saves the change request.
The change request is created in Draft mode. A dialog is displayed that gives Allen the option of running an impact analysis now, or returning to the change request later to run the analysis manually.
- Allen clicks Submit and Prepare Impact Analysis.
While the impact analysis is running, Allen launches a new Smart IT window to continue working. He will receive a notification when the impact analysis is ready.
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 so that they 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 ITSM. The administrator must configure risk factor questions and derived risk factors as explained in "Configuring risk assessment" in Related topics.
The administrator also configures the change templates, task templates, and task group templates 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.
The administrator can configure the attachment criteria, and the supported file extensions in BMC Remedy ITSM, in the Attachment Security tab of the Server Information form.
Related request types for BMC Change Management and Release Management (BMC Change Management documentation)
Configuring risk assessment (BMC Change Management documentation)
Working with reports (BMC Change Management documentation)
Copying change requests (BMC Change Management documentation)