When does a Task Become a Change?

Discuss and debate ITIL Change Management issues
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Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:00 pm

Tue May 08, 2012 4:36 pm

In my organisation, for historical reasons RFCs have been created to get approval to implement a change which in itself constitutes several changes each recorded within a Task. This has meant everyone who has a change (task) needs to approve an RFC and the whole approval thing gets out of hand.

Implementing Remedy 7.6.04 out of the box has highlighted this issue as Remedy 7.6.04 is geared to approvals being requested based on impacted area, Op and Prod Cats, CIs, Service CIs etc of the change not the tasks. Ad hoc approvals is possible but determining who should be added as an approver based on the task information is cumbersome. The other thing of course is that ad-hoc appovals get wiped when someone rejects a change and they have to be manually added back in.

In my opinion we should be recording changes more granularly and where these changes can be done so, they should be classed as standard changes with minimal approval. Changes that need to be performed in sequence or in a certain order should be related.

Tasks should only be used to track tasks necessary to implement a change for example

Freeze.Unfreeze a cluster
Suspend/resume alerts
Perform pre/post implementation checks
Inform users that service is going down/service is resumed

We may end up with more change records, but overall they will each be dealt with more efficiently as the risk and impact will be easier to determine and the number of approvers per RFC will be reduced.

Anyone disagree?

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Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:00 pm

Tue May 08, 2012 5:24 pm

My orginization uses standard RFCs heavily. 60% of all RFCs are standards. We do about 600 changes a month. One of the limitations of our system is that it doesn't support tasks.

Here is my vision:

We are migrating different customer segments e-mails in a three week span. 15 tasks (one for each migration) on one RFC.

I didn't think that tools with tasks required approval for each task, just for the RFC itself. If this is true my owners and approvers will kill me (I'm looking for a new toolset currently). This paradigm will not be acceptable.

I am tired of see RFCs that span 21 days on a calendar. I was hoping that tasks within an RFC would fix that problem. I guess I'm going to have a whole new set of problems :cry:
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Posts: 1894
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 7:00 pm
Location: Helensburgh

Wed May 09, 2012 5:43 am

It is better to focus on your requirements of the tools than on the tools requirements of you.

The granularity of what constitutes a "change" (in the context of a change request) is an entirely practical matter and should be determined with a view to minimising bureaucracy without compromising your ability to control what you are doing.

Even more importantly, one of the purposes of so-called "standard change" is to focus approval seeking appropriately for that change, not to minimize it.

Also important (unless I misunderstand your post), task tracking is not an alternative to change tracking. Every part of making a change is a task, but tasks do not need approval in the same way as changes do.
"Method goes far to prevent trouble in business: for it makes the task easy, hinders confusion, saves abundance of time, and instructs those that have business depending, both what to do and what to hope."
William Penn 1644-1718
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