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ITIL :: View topic - Change Management Naming Convention
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Change Management Naming Convention

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Joined: Sep 06, 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 7:53 am    Post subject: Change Management Naming Convention Reply with quote

Hello all,

I wanted to see what the experience of fellow ITILers have been regarding Naming Convention. In my organization (working for a U.S government agency) IT Management always finds it troublesome to read Change Management report because There is no official naming conventions.

For RFC Change Titles we have asked that the full name and abbreviation of the project be included and to be descriptive of what is occurring.
For Configuration Items we have asked that the full name, abbreviations and location be included in the title.
If a configuration item has an ip address it has been asked that the ip address and descriptive name both be in the configuration item name.

Since their exists no enforcing body these suggestions are quite often ignored

Any advise would be helpful. Thanks!
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Senior Itiler

Joined: Oct 26, 2007
Posts: 295
Location: Calgary, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm... not sure what type of information you are looking for from your reports, but typically you would like to report on things that indicate how well your process performs (KPIs) in which case description and CI names is not the information you should be looking for or reporting on.

To address your question it is hard to recommend anything concrete. In a couple of companies I worked before, CI names included some sort of abbreviation for the type, location and sequence #. For example, a gateway router in Calgary would be named GW-CAL-123.
You can represent the convention as follows:

Type[Char 1-3]-Location[Char 1-3]-Seq[Num 1-4]. That of course does not apply to items such as IP address, as you listed, but gives an idea of consistency.

Different naming conventions could exist for completely different types of CI, such as People vs Infrastructure CIs.

Then again, back to my original point, your reporting should be done with an idea to report on your process performance and effectiveness rather than outputing a list of individual changes with relatively meaningless information.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Timo,

Thanks for the reply. While I totally agree with you on reporting that the information that should be reported to IT Executive Management should contain meaningful information such as KPIs and CSFs, what I was trying to inquire was basically regarding strictly naming convention in Change Management. I might have drifted away from the topic while I was writing the inquiry Wink

Anyway, it was brought to my attention from IT Management that Change Management subjects and naming conventions are too confusing to them. So basically, they wanted to see some kind of standard in the naming convention while entering RFCs. Now keep in mind that the organization doesn't have ITIL implemented. I did initial assessment and couple of processes (Change and Release) they have assessed to be a failure. Meaning that they are not following ITIL at all but they do have these processes at a very infant stage.

I guess I am just lost on how to come up with naming convention in this very non-ITIL environment. I will probably try your suggestion to see how I can standardize naming convention to enter RFCs in the Change Management System we have.

Thanks and appreciate the reply!

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Senior Itiler

Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 3597
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naming Conventions ?

That is not an ITIL requirement that is a business requirement

While certain fields with a change request or in the CMDB may be limited to a set of values - High, Medium, Low for example, it is up to every organization to come up with their own standards

Change Subject lines are usually free text

Device names can be any you want.

One company I worked with named all of the servers after disney characters - and no the company was not Disney

As you said, the company does not have ITIL implemented, there fore as part of implementing ITIL< you should work with the system, network and application people to develop standard naming conventions
John Hardesty
ITSM Manager's Certificate (Red Badge)

Change Management is POWER & CONTROL. /....evil laughter
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Senior Itiler

Joined: Oct 12, 2007
Posts: 306
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


for the text descriptions you need to help the users understand what it is you want. Either place the naming convention in the CM tool, use templates, place it on a web site etc.

Have the change manager review all RFC's and return those that do not have the correct naming convention (though this can lead people in getting fed up with CM if its a regular thing).

For the CI's - the naming convention should be documented in the CMDB process and supported where possible for process. SOP and the the CMDB tool. Until you are in a position where by you have resources available for CMDB management you may struggle with this.

Do you have a CMDN in place at the moment and if so is it linked to the CM system?
Mark O'Loughlin
ITSM / ITIL Consultant
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Joined: Sep 06, 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Thanks much for the reply!

We don't have any CMDB at this point. Neither we have any Service Catalog. Some CIs are defined in the CMS (Propritery Change Management System) but they are not really helpful. The CMS is not really linked to any other process either. Like you said, I know it's going to be struggle but I just wanted to see if anyone out there have a suggestions/comments.
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