Happy New Year 2014! I wish you all a fantastic year ahead. If you missed it, the Customer Support Community was recently launched to collaborate on the best way to enable success, so join this community if you would like to participate.
In our previous blog documents we examined specific areas in the Change Management application. I believe with this New Year, understanding the Custom Process flow would a great start.
What is Approval Process Flow?
The Approval Process flow controls the Change Request Status field value as how the status will be when the the CRQ is submitted (Begin), Approved, Rejected, or if there are no approvers. This helps you to design the life cycle of the Change Request, with the Change Type, Change Timing, and Change Reason. Approval Mappings are then configured on the Approval Process flow. Together, these complete the approval mechanism in Change Management.
Remedy Change Management provides five out of the box (OOB) GLOBAL Approval Process Configuration stages for the following five Approval Phases.
- Business Approval – No Impact
- Business Approval
- Implementation Approval
- Close Down Approval
With the OOB Approval Process configuration you can use the GLOBAL records, but if you have more companies that uses the approval process, then you need to have the respective Company foundation data. Now say for example if you have 2 Companies foundation data, and you have configured the approval process flow for a one Company then Approval Server will pick the approval process and mappings for the Company. However the Company without approval process configuration will fetch Global.
- Open Application Administration Console
- Go to Foundation > Advanced Options > Approval Process Configuration.
- Open the form in search mode and select field Form Name*: CHG:Infrastructure Change and hit search.
- You will notice Global OOB records.
Now when the Change Request is submitted the OOB Global Standard Status flow with set the status of the Change Request until it is closed.
How to configure custom process flow?
As of now you have understood the Approval Process and the configuration form that comes with default OOB Change Management Installation. So if organizations like to have their own custom process flow that can be achieved by associating a custom process flow with the appropriate change template or templates.
To create or modify a custom process flow, you must have either Infrastructure Change Configuration or AR Admin permission. Regardless of permissions, you cannot modify the system process flows, which are provided by BMC.
- From the Application Administration Console, click the Custom Configuration tab.
- From the Application Settings list, choose Change Management > Advanced Options > Process Flow Configuration, and then click Open.
- Select Company for which you want to configure, with Process Flow Name.
- Ensure that the status is set to a non-enabled status, such as Proposed.
- Click Save. You can now add the status transitions.
I will show a sample custom process flow in this blog that will be reflected in the Change Request at the Company level.
- Unless the Next Status value is Closed, the Add Status Flow dialog box refreshes to the next stage. The Current Stage and Current Status fields display the values that you selected.
2. So based on the above steps I have created a custom process flow:
3. As you must be careful and mentioned above the custom process flow will always work with Change Templates, without templates Approval process flow will be default OOB Global that comes with installation.
4. So from Application Administration Console > Custom Configuration > Change Management > Templates
5. Once you filled in the required fields in the template, go to the Process Flow tab, there in the Change Process Flow drop down will show the Custom Process Flow we created above. Then hit save.
6. Now you are all set to use the custom process flow in the Change Request with the template.
Since you have successfully configured the custom process flow with templates all you need to have the approval mappings based on this custom process.
How to configure approval process for custom process flow?
- Open the Approval Process Configuration form as mentioned above.
- Since you notice by default OOB you have 5 approval process, now you need to create your custom process.
- Open this form in New mode and select the following essentials:
- Form Name*: CHG:Infrastructure Change
- Company: Calbro Services (Custom Company)
- Phase Name*: Review
- Process Name*: Change Level CI-IA – Review
- Status Flow tab: Select Change Process Flow = “Custom Approval Process Flow” (We created and mentioned above)
- I have selected Begin/Status*=Draft, Approved/ Status* = Request for Change, Rejected/ Status* = Rejected,
No Approvers/ Status* = Request for Change.
4. Open the approval mappings form from Application Administration Console => Custom Configuration tab >
Change Management > Approval > Approval Mappings
5. Say for example we want to configure approval mappings for the Review Phase.
6. Open the form in the new mode, select the Approval Indicator* = Change, and Phase Name* = Review (Make sure
you select the Custom Approval Process Flow - Calbro Services – Custom Company).
7. I created the approval mappings for appadmin user.
So now you are all ready for submitting a new Change Request using the Change Template with custom process flow. The approval will generate for the appadmin user.
- Open a new Change Request and select the template – Custom Approval Template.
- Once you submit the Change Request you can validate that the above custom process flow information gets added in the Work Detail tab as work info which will define the life cycle of the CRQ.
- Status Transition: Draft > Request For Change > Scheduled For Approval > Implementation In Progress > Closed
- The approval signature got attached in the Review phase for this custom process flow.
Precautions for using custom process flow:
- As in Change Management the life cycle of the Change Request has certain phases they will always be the core functionality to get Tasks Management work as expected.
- In Task Management that is utilized in Change Request can be governed by two methods:
- Using the tasks in Change Request without activating Task Phase
- Using the tasks in Change Request by activating the Task Phases.
So here you need to understand that when using the option where you do not use task phase management activated. The Tasks will always activate in the “Implementation” phase of the Change Request life cycle.
- Consider a Business case where your custom process flow do not have Implementation phase, and when attaching a Task template to the Change Request, will never activate, as there is no implementation phase.
- Say if the Business case where you are using Task Phase activated and having no Implementation phase will make your work no value as users will not get the task activated, as there is no implementation phase. This will be applicable for the other phases in TMS.
I have shared couple of Knowledge Articles and the Ideas that you would find helpful:
KA370494 - Query on Standard Process Flow when not using Change Template to create a Change Request record
KA374394 - Change Management - "There are open changes associated with this process. The Process Flow cannot be modified. (ARERR 48283)"
KA401018 - Tasks not getting activated when using Custom Process Flow in Change Request.
OOTB Change Process Flows should include all ITIL class flows, not just 'Standard' Change
I hope that you find this useful as an example on how to use features of BMC Remedy Change Management – Custom Process Flow. I welcome your comments, feedback, likes and suggestions that you may have regarding this blog post.
You can find more content like this about BMC Remedy products on the BMC Remedy Support Blogs page and always stay tuned with our new blog in Change Management.