HP Service Manager 9.34: Integrated Change Calendar

When your favorite management consultant makes a recommendation that your company must become more adaptable to the market, they are talking about orderly, not chaotic, change. When it comes to the IT function, change management and accountability are the keys that separate high-performing organizations from mediocre ones. Instead of perpetual firefighting, the best run companies maintain a culture of change management. Each change they implement goes through a controlled process to ensure its success.


After the years spent developing best practices in IT service management, we have concluded that the most effective change management methodology is to enforce the policy of a maintenance window. Changes are only allowed within a maintenance window, and are not allowed within a blackout window. In this way, the deployment of a change becomes smoother because its schedule, dependency and impact can be well planned beforehand.


Since HP Service Manager (SM) is designed to enable high-value best practices, in SM 9.34, we will ship a powerful new native change calendar capability.


calendar image.jpgIt works like this:


1)     First, the user creates spans of time, each one called a “time period”, to represent the different kinds of change windows. In OOB mode, each time period is categorized as either a maintenance window, blackout window or neutral window. The user experience is simplified by using configuration and display elements that are very similar to the calendar function within Microsoft Outlook.


2)     Next, the user creates the necessary mapping between each change and these pre-configured time periods. As the user estalishes, using planned start and end dates, a change timeline, the SM system will detect how each change either aligns or conflicts with those windows. The results will be displayed in a highly visual, intuitive manner.


3)     Finally, the assigned change planner reviews how their change maps to a corresponding time period, and makes their plans accordingly. If a change does not align with a maintenance window, then additional approval can be configured to ensure its authorization. 


The cool part of SM 9.34’s new calendar capability is that it is a fully integrated calendar – its usefulness is not just limited to the SM Change Management module.  In SM 9.34, you can use this new calendar within other SM modules as well.  This enables you to see the bigger picture relationships between events and activities associated with different ITSM processes. For example, when it’s integrated into another module like SM Incident Management, patterns of cause and effect start to emerge. IT service providers will invariably try to provide stability and a high level of service availability, with the aim to reduce MTTR (mean time to repair). Research indicates that 80% of MTTR is spent on identifying the root cause of a service outage.


With the calendar enabled in the SM Incident Management module, you can easily view the timeline of all scheduled and authorized changes that touch the affected services associated with an incident. By just reviewing the changes indicated by the calendar, a problem manager can easily identify the root cause based on data, rather than relying on their intuition or “gut feel”.  There is less of a need for problem managers to take a brute force trial-and-error approach in recreating an issue.  Better problem detection and resolution means more reliable & consistent service levels.  That’s an achievement that will make any management consultant proud.



Pei-yu Wang, SM R&D Future Product Engineering Manager was a key contributor to the content in this article.

dkalian | ‎07-25-2014 11:31 AM

This is great stuff.  We recently demo'd it for our change management office, and they said "I want that!"


I suggect everyone take a look at it.

| ‎07-26-2014 07:12 AM

I look forward to giving this some time very soon! 

Georgi Klifov | ‎07-29-2014 11:50 PM

Calendar is back. I guess that in 9.40 the RC will be embedded into the SM

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About the Author
A 25+ year veteran of HP, Yvonne is currently a Senior Product Manager of HP ITSM software including HP Service Anywhere and HP Service Man...

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