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http://pmtips.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/project-closure.jpgA mark of a mature IT organization is effective change management. But all too often, updating change records is a neglected data entry chore undermining the usefulness of the change record and raising the spectre of audit failure. To combat this, some of our automation solutions support a feature called "operator initiated change" whereby a Remedy ticket is automatically opened, updated and closed as part of making administrative changes. Role-based access control ensures the person making the change is an authorized administrator, so they are relieved of the tedium of updating the change ticket. Having changes require approvals means a solid record of authorized changes is ensured. This works because the operator never has to change their focus from system administrator to Remedy user, in effect never changing their persona,

 

A persona-driven approach is the essence of closed-loop change management because it allows someone to stay "in character" while making changes and automatically updates the change record to accurately reflect real-world state. Software development has its own system of change tracking for enhancement requests, defects, etc.and persona-driven approaches to closed-loop change management is an objective there too.

 

The DevOps trend has focused attention on improving the overall application change cycle (the DevOps Cycle). We at BMC are now taking a persona-driven approach to change management during the application release process. Planning and performing tasks during the release process automatically update change records as those tasks are executed (successfully or not, especially not). As a result, change records contain detailed results of task execution. We record not just operational changes but correlate those changes with the software development changes that are represented in the release (i.e. this deployed application went through these pre-production stages, corresponds to this ITSM change history, contains fixes for these defects and supports these user stories).

 

This achieves a complete "chain of custody" for the deployed application and connects CMMI with ITIL change disciplines. It provides forensic information for application support personnel should an issue arise, satisfies auditors and delights compliance officers.

 

Closed-loop change management in the application release process closes a huge part of the gap between Dev and Ops.