People who have the Change Manager role in 4me® can register new changes. Doing so from scratch is not very efficient, though. That is why 4me makes it easy to prepare task templates that they can add to change templates. These templates are important as they ensure that no steps are forgotten. The instructions in the individual task templates can be perfected over time and additional task templates can be added to a change template as needed to minimize the unintended consequences of change implementations.
The registration of a new change starts with the selection of a change template. As soon as a template has been selected, the entire workflow for the new change gets generated. This workflow can subsequently be adjusted by the change manager to optimize the implementation plan. To make this as easy and intuitive as possible, change managers can drag links between tasks, drag the end of a task to the right to increase its planned duration, and drag an entire task to the right to ensure that it does not start before a specific date and time.
A change often starts with a few risk and impact analysis task that are used to collect the information the change manager needs to finalize the implementation plan in a way that minimizes both the risk of failure and the impact on users. To avoid scheduling conflicts with other planned changes, the change manager can check 4me’s Change Calendar.
Once the change manager has finalized the implementation plan, the workflow often includes one or more approval tasks. When they are assigned, 4me automatically generates a snapshot of the change and attaches this as a PDF file to the approval task. This snapshot is fully customizable by the support organization, so they can provide a change summary that is easy to digest by the approvers, yet conveys all the information that is important to the approvers.
Approvers receive a push notification on their smartphone when an approval task has been assigned to them. They can use the 4me App to review the change summary and provide their approval. And they can always go back to the approvals they provided in the past and open the attached change summary PDF to compare what was approved with what was later delivered.
As soon as a change has been approved, the first implementation task or tasks are automatically assigned by 4me’s workflow engine until all tasks of the change have been completed successfully. At this point the requests and problems that are linked to the change are automatically completed. This, in turn, causes the requesters and problem managers to receive a notification to let them know that what they asked for has been delivered.
As a change progresses through its implementation plan, 4me’s automation rules functionality can be used to make sure that records get updated and people are kept informed. For example, information can be copied from a request and pasted into a task to ensure that the assignee of the task has all the information needed to complete it, or the requester can be notified that their request is waiting for the approval of their manager.
Some tasks need to be performed on a regular basis. It could be the daily backup tape swap, the monthly review of capacity trends, or the annual update of the copyright statement underneath the pages of the corporate website.
To ensure that people do not forget to complete these tasks, 4me can generate them at a specific frequency. After linking a single task template or a whole workflow of task templates to a change template, it becomes possible to define their recurrence schedule in the change template.