Change Management Overview
All changes are handled within TechConnect’s change management module.
Change management ensures that all changes that affect Tufts systems or IT services are tracked and that changes which might have a significant effect on those systems or services are as non-disruptive as possible to day-to-day operations.
There are eight potential steps, or states, a change request can go through. The TechConnect change management module will walk you through the states for your specific change. At a high level, there are five main categories of states:
- The initiator (usually the employee performing the change) creates a new change request, entering the details of the proposed change.
- At this point, any TTS employee can edit the change request.
- The change request is sent for approval from the functional manager (by default, the initiator’s manager, but there is an option to enter an alternate approver, for example, if the work is being done for a different team); emergency change requests need to be approved by a director.
- After approval by the functional manager, most of the change request information becomes read-only for auditing purposes, so that information about the change plan, etc, are not modified after approval. Any TTS employee is still able to enter work notes.
- Medium and high risk changes will then be sent for approval by the broader change advisory board (CAB).
- Upon receiving approval for the change, the initiator or relevant team will schedule when the change will be performed. Then, they will implement the change (pressing ‘Work Start’ when work begins, and when work ends, entering a completion code, detail, and pressing ‘Work End’).
- At this stage, anyone can communicate using the communication fields on the Work Notes Tab.
- Once completed (either successfully or unsuccessfully), the CAB manager will review the change, then move the change request to the Closed state.
- The CAB may perform a more complete Post-Implementation Review (PIR) on high risk changes, in which case the Change Manager will record notes in the PIR field before closing.
- Closed changes cannot be re-edited or re-opened.
- If a change request is cancelled for any reason, the change request state will be set to “Canceled”.
You might see specific roles mentioned when discussing a change request. Please note that not all changes require all roles, and that one TTS employee may take the part of multiple roles. Here is an overview of the roles, listed alphabetically:
- Change Advisory Board (CAB)
- A group of people that advise the Change Manager in the assessment, prioritization and scheduling of changes. This board is usually made up of representatives from all areas within TTS. CAB provides oversight for the management of changes to keep risk to the infrastructure low, ensures that changes are reviewed for accuracy and consistency as well as overall conflicts to the forward schedule of changes, enforces change management policies and procedures, and encourages the adoption of best practices.
- Medium and high risk changes are sent to CAB for approval.
- A majority vote is required in order for a change to be approved by CAB. Majority will be determined by the number of members present at the given CAB meeting. The Change Manager has discretion to pursue escalation to CIO Team when they perceive that a minority opinion may have some merit and Tufts may benefit from some additional understanding of the concern(s).
- CAB meets every Wednesday at 1:00PM via WebEx. All Tufts staff are welcome to attend.
- CAB consists of a primary and backup representative from:
- Educational Technology and Learning Spaces
- Research Technology
- Information Security
- Enterprise Applications
- Enterprise Infrastructure and Operations
- Client Support Services
- Library Technology Services
- Service Planning and Project Management
- Data Strategy
- Design Practice
- Change Coordinator
- Monitors the progress of Changes in the queue and assists participants with following the Change Management process. Helps participants complete change requests and follow the process from initiation to closure.
- Supports the Change Manager in the processing of Change Requests through review and analysis
- Supports CAB by coordinating the Changes that will be reviewed and updating the Changes in real-time during the CAB meetings
- Records CAB meeting minutes
- Change Manager
- The TTS employee responsible for the execution of the Change Management process. This includes operating the defined and agreed process, ensuring it interfaces with all other relevant processes, setting targets and reviewing the effectiveness and efficiency of the process, performing process audits and managing the process improvement cycle.
- The person to whom an emergency change is sent for approval.
- By default, this is the initiator’s director, but the initiator can list an alternate approver if they’d like (for example, if the initiator is doing the work for a different team).
- Functional Manager
- The person to whom a standard or normal change is sent for approval.
- By default, this is the initiator’s manager, but the initiator can list an alternate approver if they’d like (for example, if the initiator is doing the work for a different team).
- The person who will actually be implementing the change. This is usually the same TTS employee as the initiator.
- In TechConnect, the implementor must keep accurate the start and end dates of the work, enter any work notes that might be helpful to others looking at the change request, and update the status of the change to Completed when finished.
- The TTS employee that creates the change request in TechConnect. Anyone within TTS can initiate a change, and the initiator may be submitting a change on behalf of someone else (e.g. a business owner or colleague).
The flow of responsibility between hands-on roles for different changes looks like this:
Normal Change – Determined to be Low Risk
Normal Change – Determined to be Medium or High Risk
The Main Navigation menu in TechConnect contains a section called Change. Within this menu, you have the following options:
- Create New – Create a new request for change
- My Approvals – View all of your pending approvals.
- My Changes Created – Shows your active changes.
- Open – View all Open Changes.
- Closed – View all Closed Changes.
- All – View all Changes
- Change Tasks – View a list of tasks associated with change requests.
- Forward Schedule of Change – See future changes for the next calendar month
- Standard Change – Browse all Standard Change templates
- Change Advisory Board – View the schedule of upcoming and past CAB meetings
- Schedules – View all upcoming schedules.
Change Sensitivity Periods follow the Academic Calendars for each of the campuses and are noted in the Forward Schedule of Change calendar. These periods are Trustees Weekends (2 per year), Matriculation and Commencement, which take roughly place in late May, early September and early November.
During Change sensitivity periods, TTS is asked to refrain from scheduling changes. Exceptions are approved through the Office of the CIO.
Other sensitive periods during the academic year are also observed, such as "Reading Period" in December. During this time, changes are scrutinized more closely for any impact on business activities.