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Good Morning,

The department is in the middle of the design phase of implementing change management.  We've hit a roadblock and I wanted to see if any of you faced this situation.

We're having a hard time agreeing to change windows.  The department is broken into multiple units, and getting all unit managers to agree on windows that will work for them has been challenging.

How did you handle this part of change?

Thanks,
Nathan

----
Nathan Nolen, PMP | Associate Director, PMO & IT Development
University of Arkansas at Little Rock | Information Technology Services
501.916.3010 | nxnolen@ualr.edu | ualr.edu

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Comments

Message from bob.black@muohio.edu

May be a less than ideal solution, but on that has helped us bridge the gap with this conflict….

 

We developed a list of 7 windows and assigned one of them to every system defined in our technical service catalog.

 

A - Sun, 12am - 7am

B - Mon - Thu, 2am - 6am

C - Mon - Thu, 6pm - 7am

D - Mon - Thu, 1pm - 5pm

E - Mon - Fri, 8am - 5pm

F - Any day, 11pm - 2am

G - Exception 24 x 7 (changes permitted at any time)

 

In our change submission process, a system must be selected and the window is automatically populated.

 

This solution works well for the unit managers and folks performing the changes, but is obviously nearly impossible to explain to customers and public at large.

 

-Bob Black

Assistant Direct, Support Desk

IT Services

Miami University

 

Bob and I are pretty much on the same track here. The key is to make the decision and standardize it before RFCs come through.  Then you just use the schedule.

The past few years we have been working on a slightly less mature model which is just a general changes allowed between 4:00 AM and 7:00 AM since I students start logging off around 3:00 and employees start logging on around 7:00. From there most times we checked with the staff members who would be performing the work and made sure they were going to be available (not on vacation). Have this general window defined took a lot of the decision and agreement work out of every change.

Here is the process we are heading towards.  First off, we have narrowed down a list of critical services/applications we provide. We don't have a full list of services, but my gut feel is this critical list represents roughly 10-20% of our services (LMS, printing, ERP, Email, Active Directory, and a few others). We will start with those and define maintenance windows on each of them. Maintenance windows may be slightly different for each based upon usage, backups, etc. Every effort should be made for changes to fall within the pre-defined maintenance window. Eventually we will get around to the other services.


Trent Carroll

  Interim ITS Director and Manager, Networking & Servers

  Houston Baptist University

  281-649-3806

 

Online Service Desk: http://helpdesk.hbu.edu

ITS on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hbuhd
ITS on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/hbu_helpdesk

 

The ideal situation for customers would be for IT to have a handful of maintenance windows that people could remember.  We're a long way from that, but we do publish a schedule by service:
It works reasonably well for people who regularly use one or two of our services off-hours.  I doubt it's widely know or used.  We do have a goal of reducing the number of windows, but it's not a next step.  It does take a lot of work to get those agreements!
 
Our current project is to get a dynamic change calendar published, so people can look at a specific day and time that they want to do something, and find out whether the service will be available.  - David

 
 
David McGuire, MBA
Assoc Director, IT Project & Service Mgmt
University of New Mexico, IT
(505) 277-0093

>>> Nathan Nolen <nxnolen@UALR.EDU> 6/25/2012 7:36 AM >>>
Good Morning,

The department is in the middle of the design phase of implementing change management. We've hit a roadblock and I wanted to see if any of you faced this situation.

We're having a hard time agreeing to change windows. The department is broken into multiple units, and getting all unit managers to agree on windows that will work for them has been challenging.

How did you handle this part of change?

Thanks,
Nathan

----
Nathan Nolen, PMP | Associate Director, PMO & IT Development
University of Arkansas at Little Rock | Information Technology Services
501.916.3010 | nxnolen@ualr.edu | ualr.edu

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Many years ago, Cornell Information Technologies specified 5 – 7 AM weekdays at 6 AM – noon on Sundays as a “standard maintenance window.”  Though this is still the de facto “standard” for many services, we have asked service owners for our most important services to provide (and be able to defend!) specific maintenance windows based on customer requirements and usage wherever possible.  We have also targeted key dates (student move in, last day of the fiscal year and last day of the calendar year) as dates where discretionary changes are prohibited.  Additionally, we flag other relevant dates (based on the university calendar – for example, Alumni Weekend, graduation, etc.) and provide additional scrutiny to changes occurring on those dates so as not to have a detrimental effect on events. 

 

My opinion is that one size does not fit all when it comes to maintenance windows!

 

Jim Haustein

Cornell Information Technologies

Process Improvement Manager

607-255-8363; jrh285@cornell.edu

 

When I managed the change process at my previous school, we followed a very similar process to that of Jim at Cornell.

 

One size does not fit all but we did reserve 5am-7am Mon-Fri for standard outage times for most change activity.  We also had blackout dates – opening weekend, end of fiscal year/month, finals, grades due, etc.  Weekends were optional windows but not exercised on a routine basis.  Weekend changes were usually set aside for changes that required a major outage or a vendor related change activity.

 

Our change committee consisted of members from each department within IT so we resolved conflicts almost on the spot.   Occasionally we would have ‘customers’ come to the change meeting as they would be involved in testing the change (Registrar, Admissions, Student Services, etc.)

 

Extended change activity occurred during long breaks – Christmas/New Year, Easter, and times during summer.  We try to avoid major changes (i.e. version changes) during the school year unless it is an emergency change: An emergency change is an unplanned change that is required to remedy an event that has caused an outage, decreases a service level agreement (SLA) requirement, exposes security vulnerability or is required to immediately repair or restore a service.

 

Anthony

 

Anthony J. Santucci

Technology Support Services

Appalachian State University

Boone, NC

Not sent from a iDevice

 

For technical support, please enter a support request at:

http://support.appstate.edu/help

 

 

Hi:

At Stanford, we've cobbled togther a selection of times over the years.  We have Saturday and Sunday from 5-8 and Thursday from 4-7 as the standard maintenance windows that appear in our service agreements.  We also have a Tuesday evening 5-8 window for infrastructure changes to services that are redundant, e.g. where services are load-balanced and there's no production impact. 

And, of course, there are a handful of special agreements with various departments that we've made for one reason or another, but the vast majority go in the windows above.

Like Cornell, we have a couple of "freeze" periods - for about 3 weeks around graduation and at year-end close - where we don't allow any kind of major changes and look carefully at the minor ones.

--Nan McKenna
  Service Manager

We have a few maintenance windows, most of them on Friday 5am-7am or weekends; these are coordinated/agreed with the service/business owners. We have  an online change management calendar which lists all maintenance windows (pre-established and emergency windows) and what is going to be done in each of them. The system administrators and database administrators are responsible for filling out the change request for their system/service and specify details.

During the weekly change management meeting, all requests for changes during the maintenance windows are reviewed and approved by the committee. This process has been working very well for almost ten years now, and is critical to communications.  

___________________________

Rita Barrantes, MBA, PMP

Associate to CIO and IT PM

832-842-4702 | rbarrantes@uh.edu

 

 

s

We follow a similar pattern as the other academic institutions by setting windows on standard days for the major systems/services, e.g., mail, ERP, LMS, and networks. while balancing the critical events for student move-in, registration, finals, major sporting events, fund raising campaigns, any other important business functions, and more recently vendors support.  

Production windows are:
Tuesday: 6pm - 8pm
Friday: 3am - 7am
Saturday: 4pm - Sunday 4am

Changes to the non-production environments are coordinated with the service owners to support their needs. 

Robert R Cumberland
Services Support Manager
Information Technology at Purdue
765-496-8280

Good morning,

 

               Thought I would put my two cents in.  We’ve managed to carve out the first Sunday of every month as our major change, system interruption day.  Often that day goes by without major changes or anything impacting the constituency.  On other minor changes, I have a Change Advisory Board which consists of representatives from every agency, department and organization on campus including all VPs, Marketing and Communications and the President’s Office.  It is a great group because all meetings are held through email and a form is submitted to all of them explaining the work to be done, the timeframe for it to be completed, fallback mechanisms should the change not go well and other details about what the expected outcomes will be.  This group has been in place for about three years and members have commented that this is their favorite committee because we only “meet” when necessary and we “meet” only by email. 

 

Steve

 

Stephen A. Vieira

Chief Information Officer and Executive Director of IT

The Community College of Rhode Island

400 East Ave

Warwick, RI 02886

Desk: 401-825-2004

Cell: 508-965-8623

Email: savieira@ccri.edu

 

 

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Nothing too markedly different to add here.  All normal changes are reviewed by our weekly Change Advisory Board, which includes the various federated change managers from systems, networking, enterprise apps, academic services and other groups.  A central change manager in my group aggregates and tracks changes.  We review them in CAB to make sure communication is right, that there are not conflicts with other changes or key business dates, and that the change meets organizational standards (can be backed out, has been tested, has management approval, etc.)  

We allow change windows to be defined by service and the best defined windows are those for enterprise applications, network infrastructure, telephony, and mail.  Other applications change their service windows with more regularity, but we make sure to mitigate change risk or avoid changes entirely at key business periods including:  first day of classes, reading periods/exams, key payroll dates, trustee meetings, fiscal year close events, back to school, and of course (this being Duke) home basketball games.  

In the long-ago past we had early morning Sundays as our main change window with changes discouraged outside that, but I think we found over time that that (a) led to too many changes stepping over each other or being delayed, (b) changes getting pushed through outside those hours (and without tracking), or (c) not being appropriate for all our services.  We now look to our service owners to look at their usage trends and encourage them to pick low-usage time periods to make changes.  

Kevin


---
Kevin Davis
Director, Service Management & Operational Integration
Duke University Office of Information Technology
919-668-5367 (desk) or 919-599-8194 (cell)



********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

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