Mapping ITIL/MOF Change Management process to the features of System Center Service Manager Part 4

In my post today, I’m continuing with the “Approve and Schedule the Change” process in the MOF Change and Configuration SMF. This process starts after a change request has been classified and submitted in Service Manager. See my previous post about Classifying the Change.


Figure 1 shows the high-level MOF Change and Configuration Management service management function (SMF) processes.


Figure 1. MOF Change and Configuration Management SMF diagram

Change approvals are moved by their category, including their scope of change, and impact to the business. Additionally, all change requests in Service Manager must be approved and scheduled before they are implemented. However, an emergency or minor change might need abbreviated review processes.


Figure 2. Approve and Schedule the Change diagram


Process 3: Approve and Schedule the Change – Approve or reject review activities and complete manual activities


Rather than list subprocesses as I have in previous posts, I’ll describe what occurs in this process in general terms:

Standard review activities involved the approval and scheduling process are performed by change reviewers, which might be individuals or a change review body, such as a change advisory board.


In SCSM, you can use User and Group Configuration Items mapped to Active Directory Users and Groups to identify individual and group reviewers. Individual reviewers represent and vote for themselves. Group reviewers contain multiple users and any member of the group can vote on behalf of the whole group.


For example, if a security team should approve the certain category of change requests, you might want to do the following:

·         Create a group in Active Directory called “Security Change Reviewers” and add the members of the security team to that group

·         Import that group into SCSM using the AD Connector

·         Create a change request template for that category of change requests

·         Add a review activity to the template

·         Add the “Security change reviewers” SCSM group to the list of reviewers

·         Provide additional parameters for the review activity and change request

·         Save the template

·         Use this template for new change requests for that category of changes


In this scenario, any member of that “Security Change Reviewers” can vote on behalf of the whole group.


SCSM’s review activities can use one of the following voting logic types:

·         Unanimous-All reviewers must vote at this review activity.

·         Percent-based-Defines a minimum percent of reviewers that must vote for approval.

·         Automatic-You can use this logic for auto-approved review activities.


There are also two review modifiers that allow enforcement of the review logic:

·         The “Must vote” flag indicates that the reviewer cannot skip the review activity.

·         The “Has veto” flag indicates that the identified reviewer can reject the review, regardless of how other reviewers vote.


Template Authors can modify change templates. Changes in the templates are applied to new change requests only and do not change existing change requests.



Figure 3. Minor Change Request form, Process Tab (not yet approved)


Figure 4. Review activity – Approve Change Request


Figure 5. Reviewer


Figure 6. Reviewer Voted


Figure 7. Incomplete Approval



In my next blog post I’ll continue with the “Develop and Test the Change” process.


Note: This blog post and diagrams apply to a preliminarily version of Service Manager. This information might change in subsequent versions of Service Manager.