Documentation forSolarWinds Service Desk

Changes

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Introduction

Change is unavoidable but does not need to be disruptive.  By using SWSD, you can limit the number and severity of change-related impacts on service.

Before you proceed, gain a better understanding of Change Management and the Change Management Lifecycle.

Changes may be unique in the specific details, however, numerous change processes can use the same change template to achieve successful outcomes. As the templates are editable, the same Family (for example, Network, Applications, Infrastructure, etc.), and even across families, you can rely on the basic structure of the template and customize it to take into account the specifics relevant to the change being addressed.

All changes require consideration of factors such as team members affected, budget, etc. By creating Change Catalog Items (CCIs), defined here as templates, you can include all general processes, thereby accelerating the Change Request process and ultimately the Change Management Lifecycle.

The Change Catalog is a repository of CCIs, which are change plan templates you have predefined for each change type. The use of these CCIs by change requesters and implementers will help enforce the use of consistent ITIL® best practices across your organization, reduce manual processing times, and change failures caused by poorly planned changes.

Each CCI can be added to the Service Portal for portal users to initiate approved changes.

The Change Catalog is also available on your mobile device.

Navigation

Service Desk > Changes.

Changes index page

The Changes index page displays all the requested changes. The ellipsis icon allows you to filter the view. For additional information on customizing the view, see List view.

Below is a breakdown of the default columns reflected:

By selecting the Columns icon, you can edit the columns in your view, add, delete, or return to default table view.

Title Description
Number Reflects the number of changes that have been requested
State (color coded)
  • In Progress
  • On Hold
  • Waiting for Approval
  • Approved
  • Declined
  • Closed Completed
  • Closed Incomplete
The bird's eye reveals a pane on the right and displays the Change details and the Change, Rollback, and Test plans.
Title Name of the requested change
Type
  • None
  • Standard
  • Normal
  • Emergency
Priority
  • None
  • Low
  • Medium
  • High
  • Critical
Assigned To The change implementer
Created When the change request was made
Requester Person who submitted the request
Started At When Start Process was initiated; not the request itself
Last Update When the last update on the change was made
Actions Ability to delete request

When you click the change title, SWSD reveals details of the change request, including all plans to carry out the change process successfully. The Process tab reflects all approvals/denials and general workflow required to move forward or abort the change.

After the change assignee completes review of the change request, they should click Start Process.

To make changes after the process has begun, you can stop the process by clicking Stop Process, modify the workflow directly in the Process tab, and when ready, re-initiate the process by clicking Start Process again. Not all changes require a relaunch of the process. Changes such as field values (system and/or custom fields) can be made while the process continues.

Using the Changes index page

From the Changes index page you can select the change title to see the details of the change, including all plans to carry out a successful change process. In the change form, the process tab reflects all approvals/denials and general workflow required to move forward or abort the change.

After the change assignee completes a review of the change request, the change process can begin:

  • To begin click Start Process.
  • If needed, select Start Process Automatically. To do so, select the Edit icon in the Process tab, then toggle the pill bar to On. After the request is made, an automatic start will be triggered.

To make changes after the process has begun, you can stop the Process by clicking Stop Process. You can modify the workflow directly in the Process tab and when ready, and re-initiate the Process by clicking Start Process again. Not all changes require a relaunch of the process. Changes such as field values (system and/or custom fields) can be made while the process continues.

Using artificial intelligence, SWSD will immediately offer relevant incidents to attach to the change being created.

Notice the familiar icons at the top right corner of the screen.

  1. Search icon - By entering keywords such as New, Assigned, Resolved etc. you can limit your search to reflect only Problems in the states.
  2. Add icon - Allows you to create a new problem and/or attached a Incident, Change CI etc. if necessary. 
  3. Actions button allows you to carry out several actions such as:
    • Mass Update
    • Login History
    • Import
    • Export via CSV, XML, PDF and more
  4. Help reveals additional information and a tutorial on how to better understand your tasks.

By selecting the change title, the details of the change request are revealed, including all plans outlined to carry out a successful change process.

Exporting to PDF

Actions offers the following options:

  • Clone the Change
  • Export to PDF
    When you select PDF Export, a menu appears that allows you to select which tabs you want to export. For example:
    • Details tab
    • Comments tab
    • Related tab

At the bottom of this screen there are several tabs. The Process tab reflects all approvals/denials and general workflow required to move forward or abort the change. In addition, directly from the Process tab you can Update Record.

Hover over any part of the process to reveal the Add icon. Click and select Update Record.

This allows you to update the Name, add a description, and change customized fields.

After you have updated all the fields you wish edit, click Add Update Record to save changes.

When the Change assignee completes review of the CR, they should click Start Process.

To make changes once the process has begun, you can stop the Process by clicking Stop Process, modify the workflow directly in the Process tab and when ready, re-initiate the Process by clicking Start Process once again. Not all changes require a relaunch of the process. Changes such as field values (system and/or custom fields) can be made while the process continues.

By completing all fields in the New Change window, you account for the 7 Rs of change management:

  1. Who RAISED the change?

  2. What’s the REASON for the change?

  3. What is the expected RETURN for the change?

  4. What are the potential RISKS involved?

  5. What are the RESOURCES required to execute the change (and to clean up afterward)?

  6. Who is RESPONSIBLE for each aspect of the change?

  7. What is the RELATIONSHIP between this and other prior, contemporary, and potential changes?

    And lastly, though not an official step of the change management process – but still important – what would be the potential consequences of REJECTING the change?

Ad Hoc changes

Whenever a single-use change is necessary, an ad hoc change is the best way to proceed. It neither requires nor creates a CCI.

For example, across your organization you are replacing the phone system with VoIP (Voice over IP) technology. When the change process is complete, it will not need to be repeated. You can request an ad hoc change that will not be saved as a CCI for future use. Instead, it will appear as a change created without a template.

  1. From the Changes index page, click Add .

  2. Scroll to the bottom of the dropdown menu and click Create New Ad Hoc Change.

  3. In the New Ad Hoc dialog, notice the information requested is similar to that of a CCI with the execution of the Custom Fields that are included in this form.

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