Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 2:09 am Post subject: Emergency / Urgent Changes and Vital Business Need
We have two kinds of Emergency Changes: One stems from an Incident or Problem record and one stems from a vital business need. We use vital business need as a bucket for security patches, application patches, customer needs (squeaky-wheel-types, sometimes), and such, but use it very sparingly.
We do not assess urgency separately but we do assess risk (impact).
Last week, someone refused to accept the vital business need for an emergency change to prevent an incident. (We are a data center and a customer missed something, which if not migrated with other changes would have disrupted services.) The Change priority became Expedited and was implemented in time to prevent the incident. So all is well there.
This brings me (finally) to the questions. Are we defining Emergency appropriately? How do Change Teams differentiate between urgently needed changes to restore services vs. those for business needs?
By defining emergency using category and priority is one thing, but moving on from there may be more difficult by making a decision to and having the full cooperation of all parties involved, hence the formation of a CAB or an EM to dissolve the issue and decide on he most appropriate way to move forward.
Restoring services is part of aligning with the business goals, but vital business needs might also have an impact on the services provided. Allocating the right amount of available resources to the relevant change is also key. Determining the source of the major impact may also shed some light on determining where a higher priority lies.
I might not be the one to determine if we are defining Emergency appropriately, but we are given a fair amount of tools and guidance to lead to a resolution. This being said, the solution may not come about easily, but it is a solution none the less.
Joined: Sep 16, 2006 Posts: 3581 Location: London, UK
Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 6:24 pm Post subject:
The hard part about using the fuzzy phrase business need is how the term gets mis-used
The examples given cover too broad of an area
We use the following for emergency
Restore of a live service
Prevention of an impact(outage) to a live service
Security patches to prevent exploitation to the existing service
Business impact due a service impact costing $(£) a financial or reputation in the industry
Also any development or project automatically cant be an Emergency because the projects are not live
Application patching must meet the criteria above as well. Other wise it falls under the standard change process
All Emergency Changes get reviewed by Change Management and if a CAB/EC is required (dependign on the impact/approvers); the CAB/EC is held and includes snr mgmt.
As to the phrase 'business need'; I phrase that to mean 'business want' rather than 'need' _________________ John Hardesty
ITSM Manager's Certificate (Red Badge)
Change Management is POWER & CONTROL. /....evil laughter
Emergency Changes are opened/created when a Major Incident, or a Severity 1 or 2 can only be resolved via a Change... thus the Emergency Change - used to restore service.
An Expedited or Urgent Change is used when there is an urgent business need. Perhaps there is a need to make a Change due to a regulatory component... then the issue becomes, what risk will the business incur if the Change is NOT done.
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