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IT Service Management: Get to Know the Provance ITSM Automation Capabilities: Change Management Process with TFS/VSTS Integration

This is the third blog post in our Get to Know the Provance ITSM Automation Capabilities, where I’ll be discussing how I can include my development team in my change request without switching between applications or emailing back and forth. Before reading this post, it’s probably best if you first read my first and second posts:

In this scenario, I need to create a change because I need an additional configuration for a business app that we provide to our partners and our Managed Service Providers who will need to use this business app for their customers. I’ve already created the change request (see screenshot below).

Notice that in this normal business process flow (see screenshot below), we have to access and evaluate. Based on the Service Reduction and the Implementation Risk that we have identified for the change (I’ve filled out Low and Medium respectively), Provance ITSM will automatically set a Request Class and a Risk Type.

Now to identify what the implementation risk is based on the change record, we can look at the Impact Areas so we can do our impact analysis (click the drop down menu beside the change request name to get to the area). As you can see in the screenshot below, we can see only one customer – Contoso – is currently using this business application. If I scroll down, I can also see if any configuration is a part of this service that may also be impacted by this change. Thus, based on the relationships and how you configure what customers are consuming, we’ll show the impact areas to better help you analyze the impact of the change.

Next, I click on authorization. I’ve already identified the approvals, but I want to look at the approvals historically, so I click on the drop-down menu and click on Approvals. Here (see screenshot below), I can see that it already went through the Change Advisory Board, I then approved this and that’s why there’s a chart visualization of that information. Notice how we track time and comments within the change process (see to the right of the cursor).

Now, I’m going to click on Coordinate Implementation in the business process workflow (see screenshot below). In the top section, I will set the schedule of the change, when it’s going to start and when it’s anticipated to be completed (I chose November 3rd). But, we also need to set when our maintenance window is to implement that change, which is the Outage Start and End Dates (I chose November 3). In this type of change, we need development to be engaged. Our development team, however, is using Microsoft Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) (formerly Team Foundation Server (TFS). In Provance ITSM, this is not a problem as it’s integrated with VSTS. Therefore, I just need to change the No to a Yes beside the Development Required? Field, which brings up the ability for me to provide a title and description (which I filled out in the screenshot below).

So, once I hit next stage, I’m in the review process. But in the background, Provance ITSM automatically creates a work item.

I now need to submit this work item to VSTS. So, I select the work item which brings me to a detailed view of the work item (see screenshot below). I then need to choose the Project (I chose a demo instance), Priority (I chose medium) and Work Item Type (I chose task). Once this is completed, I choose Submit to VSTS and away it goes.

After I submit, the work item locks, then the Current Status field switches to pending. This will then be pushed to VSTS and then once it is registered, the other fields such as Work Item ID, Reason, Assigned To and State will be populated from VSTS.

Once it’s synchronized, we can see all the VSTS/TFS details, such as the Iteration ID, Iteration Path, Changed By, Change Date, Authorized Date, Authorized By and so on (see screenshot below).

Provance ITSM synchronizes all this information so we can help you break down all those data silos. If I don’t have a VSTS license, I can still create this work item in Provance ITSM and then send that information to the developers because that’s where they live, that’s where they go through their change control. So, the synchronized information can also come back and update the info in Provance ITSM. Therefore, I’m managing the change in Provance ITSM but the developers are doing work against it with VSTS.

Once the work item is implemented and sent off to VSTS, I can create a release record and start scheduling the release based on the schedule for the work item was created.


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