Change Management and BMC
The risks of poorly managed IT changes range from minor inconveniences to disasters that cost millions of dollars and directly affect short-term profitability. According to the Gartner Group, “Eighty percent of downtime is from people and process failures.” Change plays a significant role in those failures.1 BMC has made significant efforts to address the need for effective change management for larger enterprises in the latest release of its BMC Remedy IT Service Management Suite® (ITSM 8.0). It includes a new change management application, designed, according to BMC, to deliver “comprehensive policy, process management, and planning capabilities that help you increase the speed and consistency with which you implement changes, while also minimizing business risk and disruption.”2
Customers have enthusiastically embraced ITSM 8.0. According to many BMC users, the first BMC Remedy module typically implemented with ITSM 8.0 is Incident Management, which is far more ITIL-compliant than previous versions of ITSM. Now, many of these same users, after having mastered the implementation of the Incident Management module, are turning their attention to BMC Remedy Change Management, which is virtually a complete redesign of the change management functionality of previous versions of the ITSM suite.
These users are discovering how BMC Remedy Change Management increases the availability of business management systems, makes implementing changes easier and faster, and enables IT to support critical business services more effectively than ever before.
BMC Change Management with Kinetic Calendar
Many BMC Remedy Change Management users are also discovering the benefits of creating greater visibility into BMC Remedy Change Management events with Kinetic Calendar.
Kinetic Calendar provides the ability to visually display any time-based information captured or generated within BMC Remedy systems and other ITSM applications. It is perhaps the quickest and easiest way to graphically display BMC data online. It translates any BMC Remedy time-based data into a visual calendar format, which then enables end users to more easily recognize and comprehend BMC Remedy data and its relevance to their responsibilities. Kinetic Calendar was developed to meet the demands of BMC Remedy customers for better visibility into their IT processes.
The flexibility of Kinetic Calendar allows organizations to create virtually any type of customized calendar based on BMC Remedy data. Kinetic Calendar users have been very creative in finding new applications for it. Among the many examples of calendar functions now deployed are:
- Release Management
- Outage Calendars
- On-call Support Scheduling
- Training Scheduling
- ITIL Process Reviews
- SLA Monitoring
- Vacation Calendars
- Facility Resource Management
A growing number of BMC Remedy customers are using Kinetic Calendar as a valuable extension of BMC Remedy Change Management. BMC Remedy Change Management itself focuses on change management data and workflows, and provides one of the software industry’s best platforms for the initiation of change requests and their review, approval, scheduling, implementation, closing, reporting, and auditing.
Kinetic Calendar takes this functionality a step further by providing visibility of change events to the entire organization.
Why is this important?
Many organizations that have implemented BMC Remedy Change Management have discovered that as their use of the module grows, both in terms of the volume of change requests handled and the number of business users affected, the ability to effectively communicate changes using different styles tailored to the needs of various user groups has grown in importance. This communication can be accomplished through emails, memos, and reports, or it can be done by giving users access to online calendars tailored to their individual business needs. Calendars provide drill-down capability to give users as little or as much detail as they need about specific changes. The calendar approach improves acknowledgment and understanding of change events by those who will be affected.
In most organizations, the vast majority of these users won’t be licensed BMC Remedy users. Rather, the users affected by changes will be business managers in HR, finance, operations and other areas in all the different locations where the organization operates. Some of these users will need a broad perspective; others will only need visibility into how changes will impact their own immediate work units. These views need to be simple, uncluttered and easily navigated. Some users will need views that are easy to drill into for more information on change events.
BMC Remedy Change Management users—responsible for scheduling and managing change events and serving on Change Approval Boards (CABs)—need views that make it easy to see how one change event impacts another and whether scheduled change events collide with other scheduled events. Many of these users may need access to multiple views from the same calendar interface. This is especially true in larger IT organizations that may be required to manage hundreds of change events daily in multiple departments and at multiple locations.
How Kinetic Calendar works
Kinetic Calendar dramatically expands the capabilities of BMC Remedy Change Management. It allows businesses to create and display BMC Remedy Change Management events in views that are relevant to different types of end users. And because calendars can be posted over any Web link, organizations have the ability to create an unlimited number of different public calendars (accessible by anyone without the need to authenticate), as well as private calendars that leverage the full set of BMC Remedy group management and security provisions.
Kinetic Calendar installs as a BMC Remedy application on the BMC Remedy Server and as an application on a Web server. Installation takes less than a day. Most organizations are able to fully deploy Kinetic Calendar for creating change management calendars in less than one week. There are no end-user licensing costs, so it can economically be deployed to an unlimited number of users through web-based public calendars.
When creating calendars, users log on to BMC Remedy and create calendars within the BMC Remedy user tool interface by calling up the Kinetic Calendar console. Calendars are created by simply selecting a calendar name, giving it a Web name and URL, designating it as public or private, and specifying a language. Once a calendar is created, it is configured or customized by selecting specific events from any BMC Remedy form the calendar creator is authorized to access. Beginning with the same basic steps, calendars can be created to meet the needs of virtually any group within an organization that requires visibility into change management.
At a high level, Kinetic Calendar can be used to:
- Display any time-based BMC Remedy data in a web-based calendar format;
- Create calendars with a custom look and feel;
- Display events from multiple forms and applications on the same calendar;
- Create public or private group-based calendars;
- Assign rights that specify who can view, change and manage calendars; and
- Configure assignees, resources and other relationships.
At a more granular level, Kinetic Calendar provides features illustrated in the following screen shots from the University of North Texas’s Computer and Information Technology Center. This public Kinetic Calendar is available to any student or staff member and allows them to view scheduled, active, and resolved outages. (Visit http://helpdesk.unt.edu/ and click on “View Maintenance Information on our Outage Calendar.”) All of the information shown is derived from change management records created in BMC Remedy Change Management. (Simply click on a field and it appears in the Kinetic Calendar.)
When a user clicks on a specific event, a new box opens containing more information about the event (see below). This information can be derived from any BMC Remedy form, including built-on-BMC Remedy applications such as Kinetic Request, which can show users details relevant to their change request.
More details are displayed on a change request, with a URL link to appropriate data in the BMC Remedy Action Request System.
Kinetic Calendar also allows users to see multiple calendars consolidated into a single calendar view, as well as to switch between individual calendars. To display a large number of change requests in a single view, Kinetic Calendar uses the concept of stacking (see below). Users can simply drill down or up to view more or less detail on specific calendar events. This is particularly useful for CABs that may need to consider a large number of change requests or events and require an effective way to evaluate colliding or overlapping change requests.
Stacking allows virtually any number of change events to be seen in a single view by month, week, or day, and to easily be drilled into for more detailed information.
Benefits of better visibility into change management
Once organizations have gone through the considerable effort of standardizing methods, processes and procedures for change management with BMC Remedy, they often face another challenge: providing the greatest possible visibility into change events to the widest audience of users. Since change events are time-based and date-based, online calendars are the most intuitive answer. Kinetic Calendar is the only tool available that can capture any BMC Remedy data and display it in an actionable online calendar. The benefits of using Kinetic Calendar are considerable.
Better control over the change process
Kinetic Calendar allows BMC Remedy users to define any type of BMC Remedy data information to display in a change calendar format and create unlimited change calendar views. These views can be published online for any number of user groups and tailored to meet their specific visibility needs into the change management process. Rather than relying on a one-size-fits-all approach to communicating change events, Kinetic Calendar allows organizations to precisely address the needs of different user groups for information that clearly conveys the impact of change events on their areas of responsibility. And by giving CABs and others involved in change management flexible ways to scan large numbers of change events in single or multiple views, with full access to all underlying data, Kinetic Calendar helps ensure changes are scheduled and managed with minimal conflicts and collisions.
Extends the functionality of BMC Remedy Change Management
Kinetic Calendar considerably expands on the functionality of the change calendar included with BMC Remedy Change Management. Users can assign rights to control who can view, change, and manage calendars for any number of subsidiaries or user groups within an organization. Change calendars can be made public or private and displayed on the Web. Kinetic Calendar allows calendar creators to customize the change calendar’s look and feel specific to an organization or its subsidiaries.
Better visibility, regardless of scale
Kinetic Calendar can publish relevant change information to any number of user communities, such as managers, CABs and IT groups. It provides immediate, unlimited 24/7 access to viewing change events. And because Kinetic Calendar can present an unlimited number of change events on a single calendar, with simple navigation tools to expose subsets of events by criteria such as event types and dates, users can see as little or as much information as they need to both manage the change process and assess its impact on their operations.
Kinetic Calendar makes any conflicts and collisions among change events immediately apparent. When change management data is easy to find or visualize, there is much less chance that problems will be overlooked. Simply put, Kinetic Calendar significantly reduces people and process failures in change management, which are the cause of more than 80 percent of downtime.
Better Value from BMC Remedy
By adding robust calendar functionality to BMC Remedy Change Management, Kinetic Calendar significantly increases its effectiveness. Changes are easier to schedule, manage and communicate to affected users. Time and money can be saved, and both IT and overall productivity in your organization will improve. And because Kinetic Calendar is easy to configure and implement, and requires no BMC Remedy development skills, it can be installed in one day and become fully operational, providing value to your organization, within five days.
For many BMC Remedy users, increasing change management visibility across the organization is the next logical step after implementing and gaining experience with BMC Remedy Change Management. When you’re ready to take that step, Kinetic Calendar is the only logical choice.
About Kinetic Data, Inc.
Kinetic Data is one of the largest and most experienced third-party BMC Remedy software companies in the world, offering the most extensive portfolio of third-party, “built on BMC Remedy,” packaged applications available. A BMC Remedy Technology Alliance Partner since 1999, Kinetic Data has helped over 200 Fortune 500 and government customers—including General Mills, Avon, Intel, 3M, and the U.S. Department of Transportation—implement BSM and service delivery management (SDM) applications aligned with ITIL best practices. In 2009, the World Wide Remedy User Group (WWRUG), an independent group of BMC Remedy users, named Kinetic Data “Innovator of the Year,” and the group honored Kinetic Data with its “Best Customer Service and Support” award in 2010. The company serves customers out of its headquarters in St. Paul, Minn.; offices in Sydney, Australia; and through a network of leading BMC Remedy reseller partners.