A Change Management Tool For Best Practices Industry and Government Environments
provided by Integration Technologies Group
Change Management Software
Notwithstanding the importance of all other processes, including business development, production, QA, etc., change management should be the foundation on which all others rest. All activities seek improvement and all improvement is a result of change, but uncontrolled change does not necessarily guarantee improvement.
– Excerpt from “The Life and Times of an SMB, or Making Sense of Best Practices”
Managing and controlling change is a vital undertaking for business operations, as well as being a core concept in Best Practices methodologies like ISO, CMMI™ and ITIL. CENTRE’s Change Management Software Module is designed to keep the Change Management process moving forward by letting IT organizations put a much narrower focus on what’s being changed, who’s making the change, and how changes will impact resources and users.
ITG’s CENTRE software can provide your organization with an efficient solution to manage your change processes configured to meet your requirements.
Change management engages two principal elements of a system, Configuration Items and Change Authorities. One is a candidate for change and the other is the entity that controls it. The two should be linked and their respective relationships articulated in company policies, and implemented in automated systems, where available. All that notwithstanding, it is a good policy to define as subject to change management any item that affects more than one process or department within an organization.
The impact, analysis, risks and benefits of impending change should also be weighed accordingly across the spectrum of a CI’s use by all processes.
Change Authorities may be individual contributors, managers, or committees representing knowledge with respect to the item, its proposed change and related impact. Change has to be defined in terms of its scope, importance, justification, and root cause. As well, within a Best Practices environment, change should be identified in the context of an improvement, a preventive, or a corrective action.”
ISO 20000-1 and Change Management
In today’s demanding business climate, IT change is unavoidable. Unfortunately, so is the unplanned downtime that results from unauthorized, ad hoc, or poorly implemented changes. When systems and users go offline, the impact is felt in reduced productivity and lost revenue.
Managing and controlling change is a vital undertaking to business operations. CENTRE’s Change module is designed to keep the Change Management process moving forward by allowing IT organizations to put a much tighter focus on what’s being changed, who’s making the change, and how changes will impact resources and users. It provides the solution to:
- Reduce downtime
- Improve visibility
- Provide escalation
- Track compliance
- Post Change Review Schedules
- Reduce the business risk of implementing change
- Identify and link related records (Configuration Items)
- Maintain detailed audit trails
Embedded workflow for Change Management
CENTRE’s embedded workflow for change management helps:
- Define change management board(s) for routing and approval of changes.
- Incorporate notification triggers to assigned staff to review changes.
- Define change types, priority, and categories.
- Track relationships between service records and configuration items.
- Manage corrective and preventive actions and opportunities for improvements.
- Create custom alerts and escalations based on organizationally defined criteria.
- Provides dashboards of change activities for users and managers.
CENTRE’s Change Management is a foundation module that provides compliance for most CMMI and ISO processes and related clauses
What is Change Management
Change Management is a series of actions required to initiate and implement changes within the Company.
Change Categories: Changes are classified as major, significant, standard, minor and urgent.
Major and Significant Changes are substantial modifications to configuration items (CIs) and require compliance with all the requirements of the Change Request Module in CENTRE. Approval by the Change Authority is necessary.
Examples are: ISO Corrective and Preventive Actions, changes to work flow charts, to Company-wide manuals like the Business Quality Manual (BQM), the TAM and SME Reference Guide, and to all major initiatives.
Standard and Minor Changes are routine staff actions not requiring CENTRE modifications or issuance of Software Requirements. Approval by the Change Authority is not necessary. Examples are: Website bugs, updates of standard reports in CENTRE, IT service upgrades and the like. These changes are generated in CENTRE for recording purposes and are issued, approved and completed by the staff issuing the change.
Urgent Change is one which requires immediate resolution.
F.A.Q. & ITIL Requirements for Change Management
Does the tool facilitate the recording and storage of Request for Changes (RFC) in an easily accessible format?
Yes. The recording tool provides easy input formats.
Does the tool allow only authorized personnel to submit RFCs?
Yes. All access is controlled via group privileges for viewing, creation, and edit rights.
System Administrator attributes. The System Administrator attributes allow control to be exercised over the Users of “ITG CENTRE” by assigning permissions, passwords, and controlling the Users’ ability to see and manipulate data within the system.
Can the tool support the entry of free text as well as the use of codes for RFC classification (category and priority)?
Yes. The tool has multiple free text areas and supports various RFC classifications including classification, category, and priority.
Does the tool facilitate the monitoring and tracking of the lifecycle of a Change request? For example, tracking a Change through the different stages of authorization, coordination, and review.
Yes. Using the ‘Search Change Request’ screen, users may tailor a report by entering (singularly or a combination of) field criteria to track or monitor specific stages or dates of the RFC. Additionally, users may devise (and save for future use) an ad-hoc report to produce desired tracking or monitoring requirements.
Does the tool facilitate the ability to control, read, write, and modify access for Change Management staff, Change builders, testers, etc., to update Change records throughout the Change lifecycle?
Yes. Access to CENTRE is provisioned by user ID and passwords at all screen field viewing/modifying and reporting levels.
Each time the RFC record is modified:
- The ‘Date Last Updated’ and ‘Last Updated By’ information is captured.
- The Record may only be edited by the issuer or the Chairman/Deputy Chairman until the ‘Status is set to ‘Approved’, then, only the Chairman/Deputy Chairman or the ‘Assigned To’ individual may edit the record.
- Each time a change is made to the record, the details of the change are chronologically reflected in the ‘Track Changes’ field.
Does the tool facilitate the routing of RFCs to the appropriate authorization bodies as defined within the ITIL Change Management Process? For example, Category 1 – Change Manager, Category 2 – Change Advisory Board, Category 3 – IT Executive.
Yes. Users are able to assign the Change Authority, if no authority is assigned; the RFC goes to the Best Practices MRB. All RFC’s generate an alert notice that an RFC has been issued to the Authority’s Chair. The system uses a customizable assignment approval matrix which automatically approves RFC’s based upon the Category, Change Authority, and the RFC Priority
Additionally; the ‘Scan Request’ system can evaluate all RFC’s issued within the past day (or any number of days) for a particular change authority (or any elements of the request) and provide an e-mail notice and report of these RFC’s to individuals or e-mail groups.
Does the tool facilitate the ability to reject Changes? For example, status of reject, ability to record reason for rejects notification to the Service Desk and End Users.
Yes. If the status of the change request is set to ”Denied” the system automatically notifies the issuer”. Information on the rejection is recorded within the ‘Action Summary’ of the RFC.
Does the tool facilitate the recording of impact assessment information within the Change record in order to support the Change authorization process? For example, the embedding of attachments such as technical reviews and reports.
Yes. Information assessment can be captured by inputting support information into the ‘Change Analysis’ screens, and the RFC supports the embedding of attachments.
Does the tool facilitate the production of Change schedules? For example, build, testing, and implementation schedules.
Yes. The RFC maintains several dates (Begin Work Date, Desired Completion date, and, Due Date) which may be queried via the search screen or by using the Ad-hoc reporting system. The RFC may also include software requirements or Project CI’s to facilitate the collection of the current on-going work requirements.
Does the tool facilitate the recording of back-out procedures within the Change record?
Yes. Back-out recording is provided within the RFC.
Does the tool facilitate the scheduling of Change reviews for implemented Changes after definable time periods?
Yes. The RFC has a ‘Post Implementation Review tab which allows the establishment of a review schedule. Automatic notification is sent to the issuer when a review is due.
Does the tool facilitate customization of reporting functions? For example, ability to build custom report types based upon multiple field, multiple record selection.
Yes. This can be accomplished using CENTRE’s Ad-hoc reporting module. In this example, the change request data may be interrogated. Additionally, most of CENTRE’s entry screens provide search capabilities on any single or combination of fields.
Does the tool’s use of terms and definitions align with ITIL terms and definitions?
Incident Management: Do facilities exist for establishing and maintaining the logical association between Incidents and Changes? For example, automated linkage when a Change record is created based on an existing incident record.
Yes. The Incident maintains links to associated RFC’s and vise versa.
- RFC Linkages
- Links to Incidents
- Links to Problem Records
Does the tool facilitate the communication of Change information and schedules that can be distributed to the Service Desk and user groups? For example, the use of email, change schedules and whiteboard communication methods.
Yes. All change requests are identified on the user’s home screen. The user has the option to view the stages of their individual RFC’s or view the stages of all RFC’s
Problem Management: Do facilities exist for establishing and maintaining the logical association between Problem Records and Changes? For example, automated linkage when a Change record is created based on an existing problem record.
Yes. The linkage between the RFC and the Problem record is facilitated on the RFC ‘Configuration Items’ screen. Problem Records may be identified as ‘Problem’, ‘Known Error’, or, ‘Closed’. Additionally, Problem records maintain links to RFC’s
Configuration Management: Does the tool facilitate the task of updating CI information in the CMDB? For example, is the Change tool integrated with the CMDB to the level that CI records can be associated to the Change record and be updated as part of the Change Management workflow?
Yes. CENTRE facilitates this by maintaining the CI information and linkage within the RFC
Is the change tool able to access CI detail to assist in the assessment of Change authorization? For example, the use of impact information such as relationships and CI criticality when considering authorization of a Change request?
Yes. The change management record links to the CI via the selection of configuration items source records. The CI record maintains the Urgency, Impact, and Priority values which may be used in the authorization of a change request.
Release & Deployment Management: Does the tool facilitate integration with Release and Deployment activities by supporting Release and Change workflow integration at the task and record level?
Yes. RFC’s become Software Requirements when approved and scheduled.
Software requirements get bundled to form a release (delta, full, etc.) Software requirements are linked to the change request and project task where hours are estimated and captured.
Does the tool facilitate the identification of post implementation impact and resource utilization for completed Changes? For example, are Incidents and Problems resulting from an implemented Change easily identified? Also, can planned vs. actual resource utilization be tracked and analyzed?
Yes. The tool maintains post implementation review notes and dates. Problem record ID’s are hyperlinked within the RFC record and the Problem records maintain a list of the incident(s). The RFC may also be linked to the ‘Project Management’ system to track and analyze the planned vs. actual utilization of project resources.