Change Catalog, Change Templates, and Automated Change Workflow

We are excited to announce the release of the SolarWinds Service Desk new Change Management lifecycle!

  1. The New Change Management Lifecycle

Implementing Changes across your organization can be a very complex and cumbersome task, especially when they have a high impact on your business and employees. The previous Service Desk’s Change Management module helped you plan, execute and communicate change plans seamlessly while following ITIL best practices. It also provided you with visibility to past changes, information about which plans worked, which plans didn’t (and why) - so that you and your team could continuously improve your performance.

Up until now, you may have found yourself implementing Changes by manually generating plans and workflows from scratch. This process could be quite time-consuming, lead to human-error, inconsistency, and in some cases - to Change failure. 

The new Service Desk Change Management lifecycle addresses these needs that many mature and large organizations have, especially during the pandemic, when minimum IT services disruption is even more crucial for business continuity.

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Figure 1:  The new Change Management lifecycle

  1. Change Catalog and Change Catalog Items (Templates)

Please note: The Change Catalog is a new section of the Service Desk platform. To gain access to it, admins need to set up new permissions for relevant roles. Please review the technical documentation for more information.

While Changes are often unique, ones that belong to the same family or ITIL type may have a great deal in common. Therefore, a Change Catalog Item (CCI) or a “Change Template”, can include all of the shared content and process steps that are relevant for a certain family or type of change. Using templates that are based on your organization’s past experience and ITIL best practices can help you drive consistency and expedite Change Approvals and execution workflows.

For example, you could organize templates by the ITIL Standard, Emergency or Normal types, or by common issues such as these out-of-the-box templates available at the Service Catalog page

  • Replacing a hard drive in server
  • Operating system update using SolarWinds Patch Managers
  • Add email server and Spam Experts

Change Requesters can go to the Change Catalog, choose the relevant template they need, request a new Change based on that template and modify it quickly to fit their needs. 

Change Implementers will then review the change request, update it as needed, and once ready, start the Change Process. 

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Figure 2: Change Catalog

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Figure 3: Change Templates

  1. Automated Change Processes (Workflows)

To help you and your team streamline and automate your change workflows, we are introducing the new automated change process, available at the bottom of the Change or Change Catalog Item page.

The new Change Process is identical to the Service Catalog Process, as it enables you to set automatic workflows by using a set of predefined conditions and actions.

Please note:
After the migration, should you wish your approval action to automatically update the Change state - you will need to set this up at the Process tab. To do that, use the ‘Update Record’ action at the Process’ Actions menu, for every Change or Change Catalog Item you wish to update. This is a one-time effort, relevant for customers that have been using the Change module prior to this release. 

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Figure 4: The previous “Approvers” tab, where all of your Approvals lived 

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Figure 5: The new Process tab (contains all of your existing Approvals, from the old module)

  1. A summary of UI and Functionality Updates

For your convenience, we gathered a list of the most important updates you need to know on the day of the release. 

Current Change Module

New Change Module

Data Migration

Existing Change records will be migrated to the new module seamlessly, so you can keep managing them without interruption

Change State

States update automatically based on Approval’s status

You will now be able to set several automatic actions throughout the process. 

After the migration, should you wish your existing approvals to automatically update the Change State - you will need to set it up via the Process ‘Update Record’ action of each Change. 

This is a one-time effort, and from this point on, you will be able to set these conditions up once per template (Change Catalog Item, or as you create new Ad-Hoc Changes. 

User Interface

‘Approval’ Tab

‘Process’ Tab

‘Submit for Approval’ Button

‘Start Process’ Button. Note: in the new module you will need to click this button to launch the Process. This action will help you to track the change lifecycle more accurately and ensure that Changes are not being implemented before they are fully ready.

Create a ‘New Change’ page

Create an ‘Ad-Hoc Change’ page. This option will be available when you click the “+” button at the Change Index page. 

New Change Management Functionality

  • Change Catalog (requires new permissions to access)
  • Change Catalog Items (require new permissions to access) Automated
  • Change Process

For more information about these, please refer to sections 2 and 3 above and review the complete Change and Change Catalog technical documentation.

Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions or comments and we will be happy to help: