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ITIL :: View topic - Prod vs non-prod
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Prod vs non-prod

 
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changeborg
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Joined: Jul 15, 2009
Posts: 41
Location: United States

PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:49 am    Post subject: Prod vs non-prod Reply with quote

One of our big goals for the new year is to get our maturity level up on change management over 2010. To help us move in this direction, we are redefining change in many areas. A recent set of incidents has caused our management to reconsider the inclusion of non-production environments under change management.

To give you a bit of history, our process and definitions were designed and implemented by another regional office (will leave those down under nameless Razz ). Under the set of processes they designed, non-production environments were purposely left out. I have been a long time advocate of including them but ran into political stonewalling. Due to the recent incidents, they're finally starting to think about it with some positive reasoning.

I'm curious how some of you define change to help us along our maturity path. We're using the ITIL definition of change as our definition but much can be read into it depending on your regional language definitions. I want to avoid any regional flair and have a solid firm definition that leaves nothing to the imagination. I'm sure we can come up with some minor adjustments to the ITIL def but would like to see what other are doing first.

Thanks!
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UKVIKING
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Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 3313
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Change Borg

I have to say I dont include non production into the Operational Change Management process. I leave the Non production environment and its issues, work in the Release Management process

Now this is from an Application Change management point of view

From my role as an Network / infra CM, I do want to know about system and architecture work being done on the non production environment and they do go to the change board, but... the level of detail and testing depends on the environment
for example: development for the developers: do not really care if they blow it up as we can restore quickly etc

If the non prod is say a training environment, then I may treat it as production depending on the service provided - but I stipulate and get the IM .SD mgr to always have these at a lower priority than production if there are issues

Ideally, everything should go through change, but...

You should try to push some pure dev . non prod to a more relax and infrequent board - same process - lower standards -

but... if the non production environment is used like production, then it is production

While this may be confusing and contradictatory, it is . You have to be pragmatic about it.....
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John Hardesty
ITSM Manager's Certificate (Red Badge)

Change Management is POWER & CONTROL. /....evil laughter
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changeborg
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Joined: Jul 15, 2009
Posts: 41
Location: United States

PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John - your points are quite valid and sound like they work quite well for your organization. To give you a bit more background to maybe help guide me better, allow me to expand.

Our change process was designed with bits of change and bits of release into a single global process. Until just recently (last few months) our organization has had no drive or seen any value in any process implementation outside of change. We now have positive momentum in incident and configuration and rumor has it, release.

My thoughts on this are that non-prod changes will still go into the toolset and through the process but will be classified as low impact/low risk as long as they are not being used in a production capacity. With our process, we have set our toolset to auto approve these types of low impact/risk changes automatically upon the approval from the accountable team (voting).

We need to build this in as we have powerful pockets of individuals that look at our processes and if it doesn't say 'XYZ' then they take that proverbial inch to a mile.
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changeborg
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Joined: Jul 15, 2009
Posts: 41
Location: United States

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This seems to have become quite the little hot topic in our group over the last several days with very strong opinions on both sides of the fence. What I am trying to do is allow everyone to see the impact this will have on our operational teams. Based on feedback I've received thus far, our functional groups estimate they would have to log 30-40 changes per day for all the non-production work they perform over a given day. Based on the average time of logging a record, this would equate to 4-5 hours of nothing more than logging requests (this doesn't count time for the remainder of the lifecycle).

Ultimately based on the details I have, this is stemming from an issue that needs to be handled by both config to ensure their process clearly defines the roles of the various non-prod systems but also clearly a personnel issue that management needs to resolve.

Change management cannot solve all that's wrong in the world....
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asrilrm
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Joined: Oct 07, 2007
Posts: 441
Location: Jakarta, INA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

changeborg wrote:
Change management cannot solve all that's wrong in the world....


But of course. ITIL Change Management Process is about managing risk and impact of changes, not about solving anything.

My 2 cents about Prod and non-prod is: it depends.
My company has several Change Management systems, f.e one to deal with changes in the production environment, another to deal with changes in the development environment.
Couldn't merge them because they have different targets and KPIs.
All of them, however, adopted the principles of ITIL Change Management.
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UKVIKING
Senior Itiler


Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 3313
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CB

I see. Then you have a similar env that I had to reign in in another roel

This is what I recommed

1 - All environments are in scope for CM
2 - amend your policy document for that
3 - define the standard / requurements for

emergency changes - this does not incude non prod
normal / urgent changes - this may include non prod - specific types of environments
standard changes - this would be only non production environment change

4 - therefore, all changes in the environments would go through the same process; but the level of documentation standards is lower for non production work (note testing is not requried in non production chanegs.. but your testing IS the non production changes)

5 - report on all changes to the Change Board. - The production ones require Board approvals. the non production ones just get mentioned - ensure the dept head of the support teams are there so that they can see the w/load for each area

This is what i did i at another role. It worked after a while

NOTE: instead of standard changes (Non approved / pre approved), you can define that the non prod env owner and the head of the imp tram need only approve

NOTE Environment in this case can be system, network or application.
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John Hardesty
ITSM Manager's Certificate (Red Badge)

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