Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Considerations for recording and logging change requests

When it comes to Change Management one of the first activities to cover is the requirement to define just who is allowed to raise a Change Request. There is no correct answer, other than “who ever you define is permitted to raise a change”.

What can help in the definition is thinking about the levels or categories of change that could be dealt with by the process. This statement should be read with the awareness that operational change management can be dealt with by a much simpler process flow.

So in this regard, changes of major significance to the organization may be raised by more senior organization members. It may also be appropriate that such changes are accompanied by proposals that lay out the justification for the change in either financial or social terms (or both).

Another important point is that the change record itself can be continually updated throughout its lifecycle. The process flow may not show a return to the actual change request, but for example common sense would prevail that sign offs for testing on the change record cannot take place until the testing has been completed.

With regard to actual logging of change records there are a variety of mediums that can be used. Each will have its own idiosyncrasies and how they are used will have to be thought through, documented and then taught. It is vital that every change has a unique identifier – even if the change is rejected at the first review and any trigger document will need to be part of the change record to allow a more complete audit trail.

Tools that are used for change logging and tracking (especially when those tools integrate with other ITSM process areas (notably configuration management) will help to streamline and enhance overall change efficiency. It will however, be critical to control who can access such records and the tool should track who and when changes are made as part of the overall control element for change management.

Labels: , ,