Chris Drake

Designing a Current and Future Proof Change Management Process

Chris Drake | February 27, 2018

In the current environment, we are seeing pressure on different businesses to conform to modern types of process standards and methodologies for building and deploying change.

The current trend seems to have created demand for DevOps, Agile and Release Management controls. However, some organizations do not require the rapid style of change delivery offered by DevOps and Agile and are still happy to conform with process standards set out by ITIL and traditional release deployment strategies such as Waterfall.

Key components in the change managements process

There are several critical components in the change management process, which include:

  • Design phase
  • Build phase
  • Test phase
  • Production deployment phase

Design phase

The design phase is most often where DevOps begins, in which collaboration and understanding across the Development team, the Business users and the Operations team is important to ensure a quality change is being considered for build. With appropriate collaboration, business requirements, development complexity and cost/complexity to support post deployment can ensure that the most effective and efficient change is designed.

Build phase

The build phase often has the most variables to determine the approach taken.

  • Change Type – Emergency, Bug, Minor Enhancement, New Capability Projects, Adaptation Projects etc.
  • Emphasis on Delivery metrics – Quality, Volume, Velocity
  • Dev Team Availability – Large Dev team, Small Dev Team, Insource/Outsource Dev Teams

Each of these variables should impact the strategy used for building a software, the emphasis on collaboration and task management will vary and requires due diligence to ensure that the appropriate development working habits are enforced to ensure minimal disruption in later phases.

Test phase

The test phase is often managed to an industry standard. Big-Pharma, and B2C organizations will typically require a higher standard of testing with more dedicated test environments and quality gates in place as the changes progress to production. B2B organizations and organizations who need not commit to high industry compliance on their systems can often have a less complex test process, allowing for quick resolution rather than tighter controls in the test system. This is sometimes frowned down upon due to the acceptance of lower quality but fits some budgetary needs and helps smaller teams to more easily implement a change management process.

Production deployment phase

When people speak to Revelation Software Concepts about Rev-Trac, this is often the most critical phase for consideration. The production deployment is where all of the previous phases come together to ensure an easy delivery. Waterfall, CICD, Ad-Hoc and routine schedules can all be managed in conjunction with a Release Management process to ensure that Change Control is an easy process allowing for assessment, understanding of the risk and any potential for downgrades.

The Production Deployment phase is determined by variables such as project/support deployments, tolerance for outages and the Change Advisory Boards schedule for approving the Change Control.

Rev-Trac being a fully flexible SAP Change Management product, caters for all combinations of the above phases. We have worked with over 150 SAP customers across every industry to customize a Change Management process that is robust and dynamically capable for any demand on any of the critical phases of SAP change deployment. There are not too many environments which have the exact same process, and that is why the ease and flexibility of configuring highly custom processes has often been a critical determining factor for our customers’ decisions to use Rev-Trac.

For more information, or to speak to me or my team about customizing a Rev-Trac Change Management process for your organization, please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected].

Chris Drake

Chris first joined the company in 2007 on the front line in customer support. In the role, he gained a comprehensive knowledge of the concerns and priorities customers have from both a user and strategic decision-maker standpoints. Working in the field as an implementation consultant, Chris has a deep understanding of SAP and change management and the impact manual processes have on SAP systems stability.
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