Submitting a Normal Change Request
The majority of changes are normal changes. A normal change is a non-recurring change that hasn’t been pre-approved and does not meet the strict criteria of an emergency change (e.g. a normal change does not necessitate immediate action to restore a service, protect electronic records/data, product or IT hardware, and is not required to protect an immediate security threat).
Note: You don’t need to fill out the entire form in one sitting! You can click Save at any time during the process to save your changes.
Note: When creating a change, mandatory fields are marked with a red asterisk . When you complete a field, the asterisk turns a dark gray .
- Log in to TechConnect.
- From the Change section of the Main Navigation menu, click Create New.
- From the Change types screen, click Normal.
- Your change request is currently in the New state.
- Complete the mandatory fields in the top form.
- Enter a short description of the change and a reason for the change.
- Enter the business service which the change applies to. You can start typing and autofill options will appear.
You can also click the magnifying glass to search for the correct business service.
- In the bottom form, fill out the fields in the Planning tab.
- Enter the planned start date and planned end date that the change is expected to take place. You can use the calendar icon to the right of the field to select a date.
- By default, the change will be sent to your manager for approval. If the change needs to be approved by someone other than your manager (for example, if you’re doing work for another team), enter that person in the Alternate Approver field. You can start typing and autofill options will appear.You can also click the magnifying glass to search for the correct person.
- Enter your Change plan – What is the work being performed? How will you implement the change?
- Enter your Test plan – How are you going to test that the change succeeded? What kind of testing has been done in preparation for this change?
- Enter your Backout plan – What are you going to do if the change fails or runs into a problem? How could you roll the change back?
- Enter your Communication plan – How are you going to communicate this change to affected clients, groups, or the greater community?
Note: If your plans are complex and already written up in a separate document, you can simply attach those documents. Then, in the plan field, reference the documents (e.g. See attachment my_change_plan.pdf)
- Click Save in the top right of the form. The change information is now saved in TechConnect, but it is not submitted for approval! Before your change can be reviewed for approval, you must enter impact and complete the risk assessment.
Now that the preliminary information for your change has been entered and saved, the next step is to enter the full list of impacted services/applications, enter any expected outages, and complete an automatic risk assessment. These new sections will have appeared at the bottom of the change request form, underneath your entered change plans.
- The first tab is Impacted Services/Applications. Previously, when filling out the top form, you chose the business service that the change would mainly affect. That business service is listed here. If the change will impact any other services or applications, they’ll also need to be listed here. To add a service or application, click Edit (do not click “Add”).
- In the panel that opens, search for the service or application in the Collection panel on the left. Select it and use the > arrow to add it to the Impacted Services / Applications List panel on the right.
Note: If you need to add or modify an item, you can send a request to email@example.com. If you need to make a selection more urgently, select Other for the time being.
- Once you’ve added all services and applications that will be impacted by the change, click Save.
- Next, go to the Outages tab. While implementing the change, will a software be only intermittently available? Will it be inaccessible? Will it be otherwise not normally functioning? If there will be any degradation of quality or outages to services, they must be listed here.
- To add an outage, click New.
- Fill out the form that appears.
- The Service field has an autofill dropdown, or you can use the magnifying glass to the right to search for the affected service.
- If you need to add or modify an item, you can send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need to make a selection more urgently, select Other for the time being.
- The Begin and End times will be the beginning and end of the expected outage.
- Be descriptive in the Outage Summary; this information will be sent to ESS so they can accurately inform the Tufts community about the outage on status.it.tufts.edu
- Hit Submit and your outage will be listed.
- Repeat for all services that will have an outage.
- Once you’ve added all Impacted Services/Applications and added all Outages, you’re ready for Risk Assessment.
Every normal change request must go through an initial risk assessment before it can be submitted for approval.
Risk could mean a number of things, such as if the change requires significant downtime of a system (for example, if Tufts email were going to be inaccessible across the University for a period of time), if the change has the potential to disrupt a system or service (for example, if there were a risk that Tufts emails might be lost), or if the change has some other significant impact on an IT system or service.
To complete risk assessment, TechConnect will prompt you with questions about your change. Then, TechConnect automatically determines the risk level and enters that risk level into the change request form.
Note: If needed, you can re-take the Risk Assessment any time before a change request has been manager approved - you should still see a Risk Assessment button in the top menu bar which will allow you to fill it out again. Be sure to then click Submit a second time to apply the results.
- Above the Impacted Services / Outages table, click Risk Assessment.
- This will bring up an 8 question survey. Fill out the form and hit Submit on the bottom.
Note: Redundancy can also refer to fallback plans (e.g. using paper forms while a system is unavailable, Excel spreadsheets, etc...)
- When you’re brought back to the change request form, a blue bar will appear at the top informing you of the calculated risk, which can range from low, moderate, or high. TechConnect will automatically put this into the change request form.
Now, move on to Request Approval.
When you request approval, the change request status will be set to the Approve state and the change request will automatically be sent to the appropriate approver. Once the change is approved, it will be set to Scheduled and be ready for you to set up the work schedule.
Where the change request is automatically sent for approval is dependent on its risk level.
Low risk changes are sent to the manager (or the listed alternate approver).
Medium or high risk changes are sent to the manager (or the listed alternate approver) and will be scheduled to be reviewed by the Change Advisory Board (CAB) during their weekly meeting. CAB meets every Wednesday at 1:00PM via WebEx to review medium and high risk changes. If you are submitting a medium or high risk change request with less than 2 days before you would like work on the change to begin, we recommend attending the CAB Meeting to discuss the change first-hand.
To request approval for a change:
- Once you’ve entered all information required to submit the change request, click Request Approval in the top right of the form. The request will be sent to your manager (or the listed alternate approver). Your request is now pending in “Approval” status.
- Your manager (or the listed alternate approver) will receive an email prompting them to approve the request.
- Once your manager (or the listed alternate approver) has approved the change request, if the change is medium or high risk, the change request will then be sent to CAB for further approval.
Once the change request has been approved by all necessary parties, it will be set to Scheduled. Please note that you will not be notified when the change request has been approved. You must follow up with the approver. Once the change has been approved, continue to the Implementation state, which is covered on its own page in this book.