Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 1:16 am Post subject: Sharepoint and Change Management
I have just joined an IT Outsourcing company that is still using paper for change management. I have been looking at Sharepoint and wondering if there are any applications or templates that have been used in this environment for change management, rather than changes within a Sharepoint project.
I am looking for something that the change could be raised on the system and remote users (customers) could electronically approve, whilst providing the required audit trail.
Being just a Foundation user and not formally using the ITIL animal before any assistance would be appreciated
From the point of the post i would imagine that they do not have Remedy. It simply would make no business sense to use another inferior product if you already own the functionality (Yes i realize some companies do it anyways ) But back to the original question at hand.
Can you use sharepoint to function as an application for Change Management, Yes. Is it the best and most efficient option out there, No. I cannot say that i have seen templates out there available that are not home grown to be able to set it up. But what you can do is setup the fields, lists etc based on what you would need for information to be able to process a change request. An approach you can take is a two field check and balance, status field 1 - RFC Ready for Approval, Status Field 2 - Approved for Implementation or something like that. Lock down the approval field to your change managers. I'm not a sharepoint person but i know this is possible, as have seen this done. You can also utilize the calendaring function to begin to build a FSC. Getting your organization off of the paper system and into the electronic age will be a HUGE leap forward. From there you can begin to demonstrate the value behind having this system to begin building the case for implementing a true ITSM tool and incorporate that with other process disciplines(Incident Problem etc). _________________ Adam
Practitioner - Release and Control
"Not every change is an improvement, but every improvement requires a change"
Joined: Feb 28, 2006 Posts: 411 Location: Coventry, England
Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:22 pm Post subject:
The problem with the calendaring component is that it does not show true.
We do use it for our FSC, but found when in Calendar view you lose the detail on days at the end of the month. e.g. you have a change for 29th September on a Monday, so when you get to 1st October on Wednesday the Change on Monday will not always show. Equally if you have a Change scheduled for the 1st Oct, on Monday you can't always see it. If you display the data as a list it is still there. Consequently we use it in list format, with latest dates first.
Ps I am off down under tomorrow so apologies if I do not respond quickly
Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 3:03 am Post subject: In this case... size does matter...
I had problems with calendar options with a small company that had 'grown' its own forms for sharepoint but had no calendar. The company only had 40 people in their IT shop of which only 15 actively engaged in the scheduling and implementation of changes.
My solution, based upon the number of individuals as well as the number of changes, was to continue the sharepoint forms but to move the calendar function to Microsoft Outlook for a short term solution until the company was ready to invest in a long term Change tool.
It wasn't slick and it did require about a half hour per day of manual updates, but it served its purpose of keeping all changes centrally managed on a calendar that was accessible to not only all of IT but an organization that included 1500 retail stores.
When the tools are limited... you got to make do! Best of luck!
Joined: Oct 26, 2007 Posts: 295 Location: Calgary, Canada
Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:02 am Post subject:
In my experise with Sharepoint it will be difficult for you to imitate change lifecycle workflow with the out of the box solution.
Sharepoint will work if you want to use it simply as a record storage for your Change records, but approvals, transfers and automatic updates will be more tricky and in my mind will require some .net development effort.
As others submitted, for FSC the Calendar will serve the purpose. That's what we used in a past and it worked ok. But as somebody asked, if you are looking at having a Change management process supported by adequate technology, you will need to look at solutions other than Sharepoint.
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