IT spent more than six months on process design before selecting BMC's Remedy suite of software. They then spent another ten months customizing the systems and seven months building them. What they should have spent a little more time on, says Traynor was getting buy-in from the IT departments that would have to adopt the new software and processes. "We found that we had to really get into the whys," says Traynor. "When you have your head down doing server support, you're pretty busy and you don't have much time to focus on the global picture. We really had to get into why we want good test results, why we want to have back up plans, why we want to have post-critiques. So that when you do make changes, you don't impact the customer."
New Ability to Focus on High Risk Changes
The first ECM tools were rolled out last August and the new processes have yielded an interesting result--more change requests, about 840 a month (Of these, 42% relate to infrastructure; 31% to applications and 27% to data.) Why did the request number rise?, In the past, a significant number of changes were processed without any review. While less than 1% of such changes could be categorized as high risk, 85% of them carry some risk. And that's not the kind of dice-rolling you want to do when you're charged with keeping the lights on for a business keeping thousands of lights on.
Today, the change advisory board meets just once a month and concentrates on major risk changes (changes to enterprise solutions impacting a large population or critical sites, new technology) and emergency change post-mortems. Most standard change requests (similar changes made repeatedly) are pre-approved and templated. "It frees up a lot of resources and creates a lot more opportunity from a project perspective," says Traynor. "It makes life a little bit easier."
Traynor says that he should have started the ECM communication and training effort much sooner. And that's what he did with the second phase of the implementation: the incident and problem management system.
Traynor appointed ambassador from each IT unit to the ECM project team as he did with the first phase, involving them in meetings as a group and individually, but brought them in on day one. "It was a great concept, but we pulled them in too late in the process [during the first phase of the rollout]," Traynor says. "By the time we got them up to speed, the design was finished, we had already started building the tool, and they're were playing catch-up."