Configure change and activity management in Service Manager

As part of your initial configuration of Service Manager, you have to configure settings and workflows for change and activity management. Create a change request template that you can use later when new change requests are submitted.

Configure workflows to automatically close completed change requests and send notifications to users when activities require approval. Workflows automate processes that you can use to automatically apply templates and send notifications.

A change request template is useful when you create a change request for a recurring type of issue because you can set an issue category and define a standard priority, effect, and risk level for it in the template. You can also create additional templates for other types of recurring change requests. Another benefit of creating a change request template is that users spend less time when they submit new change requests.

Create change request templates

Use the following procedures to create two change request templates and then validate them. The first template is used to create change requests to modify Microsoft Exchange Server infrastructure. The second template is used to automatically change the priority of a standard change request to Low.

Change request templates store commonly used settings and apply the information to new change requests. For example, you can create a change request template that includes a number of activities. However, activities that you want to include in a change request template must have been previously created as activity templates.

Note

When you create a change request template, do not create links to configuration items or work items, and do not enter any user information. If you create a template with these objects, you cannot remove them, and you will have to re-create the template.

To create a messaging change request template

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Library.
  2. In the Library pane, click Templates.
  3. In the Tasks pane, under Templates, click Create Template.
  4. In the Create Template dialog box, type a name for the template in the Name box. For example, type Changes to Messaging Infrastructure Template.
  5. In the Description box, type a description for the template. For example, type Use this change template when you want to modify the messaging infrastructure.
  6. Click Browse to select a class.
  7. In the Select a Class dialog box, click Change Request, and then click OK.
  8. In the Create Template dialog box, under Management pack, select Service Manager Change Management Configuration Library, and then click OK.
  9. In the Change Request Template form, on the General tab, in the Description box, type a description for the change. For example, type Use when modifying the Exchange Server software infrastructure.
  10. In the Area box, select the area that is affected by the change request. For example, expand Hardware, and then select Server.
  11. In the Priority box, select a value. For example, select High.
  12. In the Impact box, select a value. For example, select Standard.
  13. In the Risk box, select a value. For example, select Medium.
  14. Click the Activities tab, and then click Add.
  15. In the Templates list, select Default Review Activity, and then click OK to open the review activity form.
  16. In the Title box, type a name for the review activity. For example, type Messaging Infrastructure Request Approval. Then, click Add to add the user or group that will normally approve the change request.
  17. In each open form or dialog box, click OK.

To create a priority-modifying template

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Library.
  2. In the Library pane, click Templates.
  3. In the Tasks pane, click Create Template under Templates.
  4. In the Create Template dialog box, type a name for the template in the Name box. For example, type Set Standard Change Requests to Low Priority.
  5. In the Description box, type a description for the template. For example, type Use this change template to automatically set the priority for standard change requests to Low.
  6. Click Browse to add a class.
  7. In the Choose Class dialog box, click Change Request, and then click OK.
  8. In the Create Template dialog box, under Management pack, select Service Manager Change Management Configuration Library, and then click OK.
  9. In the Change Request Template form, on the General tab, in the Priority list, select Low.
  10. Click OK.

To validate template creation

  • Verify that the new templates were created. For example, verify that Changes to Messaging Infrastructure Template and Set Standard Change Requests to Low Priority appear in the Templates view. You might have to press F5 to make the new change templates appear.

Create a manual activity template

Use the following procedures to create a manual activity template and then validate it. Manual activity templates help ensure that all manual activities are assigned to the person who is the activity implementer. After you create the manual activity template, you create a workflow that applies the template. For more information about how to create a workflow, see How to Configure Incident Workflows.

In the following procedure, you will create a manual activity template named "Set named user as the Activity Implementer". This manual activity template is used in the How to Configure Activity Management Workflows procedure.

To create a manual activity template

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Library.
  2. In the Library pane, click Templates.
  3. In the Tasks pane, in the Templates area, click Create Template.
  4. In the Create Template dialog box, in the Name box, type a name for the template. For example, type Set named users as the Activity Implementer.
  5. In the Description box, type a description for the template.
  6. Click Browse to choose a class.
  7. In the Choose Class dialog box, click Manual Activity, and then click OK.
  8. In the Create Template dialog box, under Management pack, select Service Manager Activity Management Configuration Library, and then click OK.
  9. In the Manual Activity Template form, on the General tab, click the ellipsis button (...) next to Activity Implementer, select a user, and then click OK.

To validate that the template was created

  • In the Templates view, verify that the new template was created. You might have to press F5 to make the new manual activity template appear.

Configure general change settings

Use the following procedures to configure settings to specify change request prefixes and to define change request file attachment limits and then validate the settings.

Note

Revising the change request prefix does not affect existing change requests.

To configure general change settings

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Administration.
  2. In the Administration pane, expand Administration, and then click Settings.
  3. In the Settings pane, click Change Request Settings.
  4. In the Tasks pane, in the Change Request Settings area, click Properties.
  5. In the Change Request Settings dialog box, you can make the following changes:
    1. If you want to change the prefix code, change the default value in the Change Request ID prefix box.
    2. If you want to change the maximum number of files that you can attach to a change request, change the default value in the Maximum number of attached files box. For example, type 2.
    3. If you want to change the maximum size of files that you attach to a change request, change the default value in the Maximum size (KB) box. For example, type 300.
  6. Click OK to close the Change Request Settings dialog box.

To validate change settings

  1. To validate changes to the prefix code, create a new a change request, and verify that the change request IDs have the prefix that you specified.
  2. To validate changes to the attachment settings, open a change request, and attempt to add a file attachment that violates the settings that you specified.

Configure general activity settings

Use the following procedure to configure settings to specify activity prefixes when you view activity records. You can then validate the settings. You can define these activity settings in the administrative area of the Service Manager console.

Note

Revising the activity request prefix does not affect existing activity records.

To configure general activity settings

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Administration.
  2. In the Administration pane, expand Administration, and then click Settings.
  3. In the Settings pane, click Activity Settings.
  4. In the Tasks pane, in the Activity Settings area, click Properties.
  5. In the Activity Settings dialog box, you can make the following changes:
    • If you want to change the activity prefix code, change the default value in the Activity prefix box. For example, change the value to AA.
    • If you want to change the manual activity prefix code, change the default value in the Manual activity prefix box. For example, change the value to AM.
    • If you want to change the review activity prefix code, change the default value in the Review activity prefix box. For example, change the value to AR.
  6. Click OK to close the Activity Settings dialog box.

To validate activity setting changes

  • To validate changes to any prefix code, create a new change request, and then verify on the Activities tab that the activities have the new prefix that you specified.

Configure change management workflows

Use the following procedures to set the priority of all standard change requests and then validate the change. For example, you can set the priority of all standard change requests to low. In this procedure, you create a new workflow to automate the process.

Before you can complete the steps in the following procedures, you have to create the following templates:

To create a workflow to set all standard change requests to low

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Administration.
  2. In the Administration pane, expand Administration, expand Workflows, and then click Configuration.
  3. In the Configuration pane, click Change Request Event Workflow Configuration.
  4. In the Tasks pane, in the Change Request Event Workflow Configuration area, click Configure Workflow Rules.
  5. In the Configure Workflows dialog box, click Add.
  6. On the Before You Begin page of the Configure Workflows for Objects of Class Change Request Wizard, click Next.
  7. On the Workflow Information page, in the Name box, type a name for the workflow. For example, type Set Standard Change Request to Low Priority workflow.
  8. Optionally, in the Description box, you can type a description of the new workflow. For example, you can type This workflow automatically sets the priority of a standard change request to low.
  9. In the Check for events list, select When an object is created.
  10. Make sure that the Enabled check box is selected, and then click Next.
  11. On the Specify Criteria page, on the Changed To tab, in the Related classes list, select Change Request.
  12. In the Available properties list, select Category, and then click Add. In the Criteria area, next to the equals box, select Standard, and then click Next.
  13. On the Apply Template page, select the Apply the selected template check box.
  14. In the Templates list, select Set Standard Change Requests to Low Priority, and then click Next.
  15. On the Select People to Notify page, select the Enable notification check box.
  16. Under User, select Created By User, and under Template, select New Standard Change Request Received Template, and then click Add.
  17. Click Next.
  18. On the Summary page, click Create.
  19. On the Completion page, click Close.
  20. In the Configure Workflows dialog box, click OK.

To validate workflow creation

  1. In the Configuration pane, select the Change Request Event Workflow Configuration template.
  2. In the Tasks pane, click Configure Workflow Rules.
  3. In the Configure Workflows dialog box, the Set Standard Change Request to Low Priority workflow workflow should appear.
  4. Optionally, you can create a new change request by using the Standard Change Request template to verify that the priority of new requests is set to Low.
  5. Notification email is sent to the user who created the change request.

Configure activity management workflows

Use the following procedures to automatically assign all unassigned manual activities to a named user and then validate the creation of workflow.

Before you can complete the steps in the following procedures, you have to create the following templates:

The new workflow you are about to create applies the Set named user as the Activity Implementer template, which assigns the named user all the activities that do not have a designated activity implementer. The New Activity Assigned Received Template sends notification to a user if the email notification channel is configured.

To create an activity management workflow

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Administration.
  2. In the Administration pane, expand Administration, expand Workflows, and then click Configuration.
  3. In the Configuration pane, click Activity Event Workflow Configuration.
  4. In the Tasks pane, in the Activity Event Workflow Configuration area, click Configure Workflow Rules.
  5. In the Select a Class dialog box, in the Name list, select Manual Activity, and then click OK.
  6. In the Configure Workflows dialog box, click Add.
  7. On the Before You Begin page of the Configure workflows for objects of class Manual Activity wizard, click Next.
  8. On the Workflow Information page, in the Name box, type a name for the workflow. For example, type Assign Unassigned Activities to *named user*.
  9. Optionally, in the Description box, you can type a description of the new workflow. For example, you can type This workflow automatically assigns unassigned manual activities to the *named user*.
  10. In the Check for events list, select When an object is created.
  11. Make sure that the Enabled check box is selected, and then click Next.
  12. On the Specify Criteria page, on the Changed to tab, in the Related classes list, select Manual Activity.
  13. In the Available properties list, select the Stage check box, and then click Add.
  14. In the Criteria area, next to the [Activity] Stage box, select equals, select Approve for the value, and then click Next.
  15. On the Apply Template page, make sure that Apply the selected template check box is selected.
  16. In the Templates list, select Set named users as the Activity Implementer, and then click Next.
  17. On the Select People to Notify page, select the Enable notification check box.
  18. In the User list, select Assigned to User.
  19. In the Message template list, select New Activity Assigned Received Template, click Add, and then click Next.
  20. On the Summary page, click Create.
  21. On the Completion page, click Close.
  22. In the Configure Workflows dialog box, click OK to close it.

To validate workflow creation

  1. In the Administration pane, expand Administration, expand Workflows, and then click Status.
  2. In the Status pane, verify that the new workflow template titled Assign Unassigned Activities to the *named user* is listed.

Next steps