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Greetings to everyone! We have now been able to read and learn many areas of BMC ITSM Change Management from our previous pulse blog. For those who wanted to get started with BMC Release Management, I am confident this post will certainly help.

 

 

BMC ITSM suite has Release Management application and it comes with a solution for organization who intended to oversee the planning, build, test and deployment for their software components. The practice of release management combines the general business emphasis of traditional project management and best practices of ITIL.

 

 

 

So where do we start?

 

In this pulse edition we will understand the basics of BMC Release Management milestones, activity, approvals, collision detection and how it is integrated with Change Management. The scope of Change Management is much broader. This can include changes say for example access privileges, performance testing and hardware moves to VPN configuration changes and beyond. Now not all changes result in Releases. The scope of Release Management is very specific and it may relates to modifications in any organization software components.

 

 

 

Lifecycle of Release:

 

In any organization it all depends how they want to utilize Release Management say for example for a software release worldwide. The Release request can have approvals, milestones and activities that will govern the life cycle of the release request from the Initiate to Close Down. This diagrammatic view best represents the Release lifecycle how the request flows:

 

Release.jpg

 

ITSM Administrator can define Milestones that will define the course of the Release Request. These Milestones can be configured for each phases that can have Change Request and Activities. Once you have the approvals to be completed then the related existing or new CRQ to be worked till closure for a specific phase that will help to make the Release more aligned and successful. We will discuss the Change Requests in the Milestone in details.

 

 

Configure Milestones:

 

We recommend to create Milestones record from the Application Administration Console.

 

  1. Open the Application Administration Console > Standard Configuration tab > Custom Configuration > Release Management.
  2. Open Milestone Configuration and select “Global” under Company if you want the Milestone for all.
  3. Go to Exit Criteria and it defines how the Release needs to worked at all the Milestones.


Release Milestone1.jpg

  1. You can define for which status of the Change Request and the Activity the action will take place like error or warning for that milestone.
  2. I have configured a Milestone at the Initiate phase when the Change Request need to be closed else Release will throw error.

 

 

Release Milestone3.jpg

 

 
The same way you have the flexibility to define all the Milestone for your release that will help for managing standard release work items:

 

  1. Tracking and managing change and deployment activities
  2. Automatically notifying stakeholders at every phase of the release process
  3. Contributing to meeting auditable requirements for traceability through service transition
  4. Delivering changes faster and at an optimum cost and minimized risk
  5. Assuring that customers and users can use the new or changed service in a way that supports the business goals
  6. Improving consistency in the implementation approach across the business change, service teams, suppliers, and customers

 

             

Release Approvals:

 

As many of you are aware how the approval mappings and configuration works in Change Management, SRM, Asset and Knowledge Management. In those similar concept the Release Approval works. Being the integral part of AR Server Approval Rules always take into effect with the configurations from Release Mappings for the specific phase.

 

I will configure an approval mapping for the Initiate phase of a Release request, the steps are similar from the approval mappings form.

 

 

  1. Open the Application Administration Console > Standard Configuration tab > Custom Configuration > Release Management.
  2. Open Approval > Approval Mappings and select Approval Indicator* = Release, Phase Name* = Initiate for an Individual Approval.

 

Approval Mappings.jpg

 

Now we will verify how the above Milestone, activity and approvals will take into effect on the Release request.

 

  1. Login with a user having Release user License permissions from the IT Home page > Application at the left navigation pane.
    New Request.jpg
  2. Open the New Release form and fill all the required fields and submit the same.
  3. Once you move the request to next stage from Draft, approval will trigger for appadmin.

    Release Approval.jpg
  4. Go to the Manifest tab and create an Activity, and then mention the Manifest Attributes like for which Milestone this will be attached.

    Manifest.jpg
  5. Then follow the same steps to add a Change Request, here you can attach any existingor create a new. I have attached a Change Request with Implementation in Progress status for the Initiate Milestone.          

    Activity and Change.jpg
  6. You can always add the Activity or Change Request before you submit the Release Request.
  7. Now go ahead and approve the approval that was triggered and move the request to next stage.
  8. Error message is shown to close the Change Request.
    Error.jpg
  9. Open the Change Request and move the same till closure. Once done refresh the Release Request and move the release to next stage.

 

So now we have seen how the Milestone, approvals, change request and activity are associated with a Release Request and helps any organization for a successful release.

 

 

What is Collision Detection?

 

Collision detection is an advanced functionality that automatically run when you saves the release request. The Collision Detection tool determines if there are other change requests scheduled to work on the same CI during the same scheduled time, and helps him manage and resolve these potentially harmful conflicting change requests.

 

 

Collision Detection enhancements in 8.1 SP1

 

 

  1. The Collision Detection dialog box has been redesigned to display more information about collisions and colliding change requests.
  2. Usability improvements simplify the process of updating the status of collisions. Additionally, you can now update the status of multiple collisions simultaneously.
  3. You can track the history of status changes for individual collisions.

 

 

You can find more details of the enhancement in collision detection in 8.1 SP1 with the below online docs.

 

https://docs.bmc.com/docs/display/change81/Using+Collision+Detection+in+Service+Pack+1

 

 

Conclusion:

 

Release management within your organization delivers core benefits. These benefits are categorized as being aligned to the traditional benefit categories of revenue, cost and risk.

 

 

  1. Process are streamlined enabling changes to be deployed more rapidly. End users realize the benefits of changes a quickly as possible.
  2. Higher Release Throughput by absorbing higher rates of change to systems whilst maintaining IT service quality through a unified well understood and controlled release process.
  3. Enhanced Agility and flexibility by responding to new and emerging needs and competitive threats as they arise.
  4. Deliver smoother transitions of releases from development activities (projects) to final destination environment.
  5. Eliminated duplicate and manual-intensive activities in the plan, manage and deploy stage of the release process.
  6. Mitigate Release Failure through strong policy and governance that enables stakeholders to take preventative action based on superior information.

 

 

I have shared couple of Knowledge Articles that you would find helpful:

 

 

Knowledge Article:

 

 

1. KA363787 - When user select multiple Change Request to be added to manifest tab of Release Request the milestone can only be selected for a single Change request

2. KA354583 - Release Templates do not copy the Milestone and Order information correctly to the new Release about the change request or activities

3. KA361954 - ITSM 7.6.04 - When creating an Activity from a Release, the window for setting the Milestone is not opening in several scenarios

 

 

 

I hope that you find this useful as an example on how to use features of BMC Remedy Release Management. I welcome your comments, feedback, 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 Pulse in Change Management.