Change Management and Vendors

Discuss and debate ITIL Change Management issues
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yyz
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Tue May 08, 2012 5:08 pm

Our company relies on large vendors as part of our Service Delivery schema; Power companies, Telco / Internet Providers, etc.

They have no access in to our ITSM suite and therefore cannot enter their own changes (not that we have SLAs with them that would even make them do that).

The vendors send us e-mails telling us of power disruptions, black fiber cuts, and circuit disruptions.

I want the Technical Groups who rely on these "component" services to write the RFCs for these vendors by proxy as they have access to the affected routers, etc. to tell who the customers are and what the impact will be.

They disagree and tell me it's our Change Management Team's responsibility to write the RFC. The Change Coordinators can't do this, they don't know or understand the services to that degree. We need SME's help and they should write the RFC so that notification to the customer is accurate.

Thoughts? Opinions? How do you do this?


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Diarmid
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Wed May 09, 2012 6:04 am

I think you need to clarify your thinking in this area.

1. your suppliers cannot issue RFCs to your change management system since they are outwith its scope.

2. Even if they could they would no more be able to do an impact analysis for your customers than you believe your change team can.

3. Managing a planned outage is not quite the same thing as managing a change (although rescheduling such is a change).

It is perfectly possible to establish a management procedure for dealing with planned outages and assigning responsibilities appropriately. This is likely to be better than trying to bend the activity into some theoretical management construct that doesn't quite fit.

In other words:
- define what needs to be done
- specify how it should be done
- determine who should do it (on the basis of capability, proximity and authority
- how it should be controlled
- write it up as a procedure

If you are really desperate to make things look ITILish, then you can write this up as what many call a "standard change". After all, every other "standard change" has its own procedure. Doesn't it?
"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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UKIT
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Wed May 09, 2012 3:12 pm

Hello - YYZ

Like your organization, we have external IT services companies that maintain telecommunications and data equipment that our clients depend upon for their IT services to function.
We have a dedicated team that interfaces with these external companies who advise us in advance ( approx 1 months notice) of any work that has been scheduled to take place.
In most cases, the work being carried out will have no impact on IT services used by our clients, due to the fault tolerate design.
However,the internal network teams are advised of the schedule outage so that they can check to see what IT services will be impacted.
RFC's are generated by internal IT services network teams on behalf of the external suppliers, thus allowing us to advise our clients of the scheduled work being carried out and what IT services if any, will be impacted.

Your absolutely right your change management team would not be able to supply a detailed breakdown of IT services impacted as they simply wouldn't know.This is not their area of expertise.
It very much sounds like your technical groups don't like the idea of raising RFC's on behalf of third party suppliers.
I would suggest that you escalate the situation to your senior management team, explaining the problem in detail.
Generating RFC's with a fully documented impact analysis statement in place,is key to the entire change management process
Good luck, would be interested to know how you get on.
Service Transition & IT Project Management
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yyz
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Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:22 pm

UKIT,

Thank you for the advice. Interestingly enough, I just read your post today, after implementing a procedure that has a lot of your recommendations. We have a CHM Team of"coordinators", and they interact with and recieve vendor outage notifications (I wish the notifications came in a month in advance!).

Impact and assessment is done by our NOC and if necessary, other technical SMEs. It seems to be working out.

Everything was put in a procedure and roles and responsibilities were clearly stated. Exec. Mgmt. signed off on it. But in the end, it closely resembled your recommendations UKIT!!!

Good Job!
UKIT wrote:Hello - YYZ

In most cases, the work being carried out will have no impact on IT services used by our clients, due to the fault tolerate design.
However,the internal network teams are advised of the schedule outage so that they can check to see what IT services will be impacted.
RFC's are generated by internal IT services network teams on behalf of the external suppliers, thus allowing us to advise our clients of the scheduled work being carried out and what IT services if any, will be impacted.
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