4 Lessons From Automating A Change Request Workflow

KiSSFLOW

April 6th, 2018 workflow  

We’ve heard all too often the nightmares that come with updating databases, data becoming corrupted, entire records being wiped, etc. All of these things are genuinely frightening; no one wants to put their data at risk, even if you have a backup available.

Take for instance, this story where a new employee, during his onboarding, accidentally wiped all the data in the company’s production database by inputting the wrong credentials. The worst part was that the company didn’t have a backup of the database, making the wipe even scarier.

Change Request Management Workflow

Stories like this make the thought of automating change requests scarier. Is it really worth the risk of leaving everything to the system when you know process-critical data hangs in the balance?

Does change request automation really have a valid argument? Here are some of the most valuable takeaways we learned when it comes to creating an automated change request management workflow.

Learn Who Will Be Affected By This

You need to know exactly who will be affected by this change request management. Who are the people directly involved in the workflow? Will they face any issues with their day to day work? Will it benefit them? If there are any negative changes, do the positives outweigh the negatives?

These are some of the questions you must consider before implementing a change management workflow.

In the case of the developer who accidentally wiped the company database, the entire production team would have been affected. Developers and IT staff would also have been affected. Had they had the proper security measures and automation in place, they wouldn’t have had to worry about all the lost data.

Change Request Management Isn’t a Single Thing

Change request management isn’t a term that has a single definition. Different people in your office will have different definitions when it comes to defining a change management workflow.

Remember to clearly define the meaning of change in your change management process workflow when you’re automating it in your office.

In any organization, there are also different types of changes, depending on the severity of the change that needs to be made. From lowest to highest, they are classified as

  1. Standard changes
  2. Minor changes
  3. Normal changes
  4. Major changes
  5. Emergency changes

Depending on the severity and impact they have on the processes in the office, change request management tickets are categorised into one of these five categories.

Learn to Define Roles and Responsibilities

Different people will have different roles and responsibilities in the workflow. A person who does routine backups does not need to have access to edit the database.

A new employee in charge of development does not need to have access to the production database, or the superuser credentials to make any alterations.

With proper change request management, you can clearly define these roles and responsibilities, so that everyone only has the permissions and roles that they need, and none they don’t.

This is a lot safer than doing change management workflows manually, since people without adequate credentials cannot make potentially destructive changes.

In the case of the new developer, he wouldn’t have had access to the superuser function which ultimately deleted the production database.

Visualize the Change Management Workflow

One of the biggest problems when creating a change management workflow is that people cannot visualize the workflow. One of the advantages of using a tool like KiSSFLOW when creating change request management is that you can clearly see how your workflow is shaping up.

When you can create a picture of your workflow, not only can you see the flaws and loops that a workflow can have, you can also easily explain it to your teammates and have everyone on the same page as you.

An excellent change management workflow example is the same employee who deleted the production database. With a proper workflow for adding information to the database, as well as roles and permissions for the different people in the workflow, you can easily see who can make process-critical changes and who can’t.

Conclusion

A change management workflow doesn’t have to be scary, and you don’t have to worry about destroying critical data, provided that you take the necessary steps in protecting your information. With a reliable tool like KiSSFLOW helping you, you can plan and automate your workflow easily, without having to worry about any hiccups that may happen. Best of all, once your change management is automated, you can trust it to be safe, whether you’re updating or revamping it.