I work in the IT department in a company of 250+ users (customers) We have a an internal policy on requesting Software implementation (Change management) or updates/patches (Release Management).
The process flow we have adapted is as follows:
A Change/release request comes from one of our customers.
Certain key Customers are notified of the change/release request based on what it will affect, they enter there notes with any concerns.
A member of the support team then approves the request and then its assigned to a tech to plan out the build.
Once the build is complete and ready for testing, the customer is the one that does the testing and reports back to us.
Techs update the change/release request accordingly and once testing has been completed its pushed into production.
We currently have 5 Service desk accounts for our IT support team and the problem I’ve run into with regards to change/release management is that our customers cant create them, get notifications about them or even see the status. As a result we have to use workarounds like using indecent tickets to track and notify end users, which is not really efficient nor does it flow well in the execution process.
This is a feature my department and I imagine others, would benefit greatly from as we currently have to use SharePoint forms to process these request.
Thanks for the feedback, we've seen this request come up a few times in the past and have added a +1 against it.
What you're currently doing by using Incidents as a means of communicating back to the customer is one of the workarounds we do suggest.
Here's something else you could try in the meantime. If you have a close relationship with the customer you could potentially create them as a User allowing them to follow all their incidents, problems, changes and releases in their service (if you have your account in such a way that allows them to follow everything within a service). Alternatively you could create them as a Restricted User (see attached screenshot of the permissions when creating a new user), which will allow them to only see Incidents, Problems, Changes and Releases on their watchlist.
Thanks for the reply Luke, the problem with the second option is that we only have 5 licensees, and at any given time the group that handles change/release management can be 3-8 people possibly more. I cant justify the expense of having so many service desk accounts inactive when there are no change/release request going on.
Fair enough. We have seen people forward the cost of the licenses onto their customers as well, this is particularly handy if they are actively involved in services. But I understand if this is not possible.
We recently added the ability for customers to be associated to Problems, Changes and Releases. This was primarily more for reporting purposes, but it is a step towards eventually allowing customers to have greater involvement with these entities too.
As I mentioned, this is a feature we're currently keeping track of, and are considering adding Changes and Releases to the Portal in the future. We have a few features in the pipeline that might open up additional workarounds. If you come up with any in the interim please let us know 🙂
Hello. We would like to see this feature and for "customers" (our internal colleagues) to be able to be a part of the change approval process. In our environment, many computer systems have an non-IT owner and the owner needs review and approve change proposals and the results of the change. We have an IT dept of 2 people and would like to run with two licenses, but have a bunch of system owners that need to participate in the change request process including approvals. These approvers would not need any other "user" functionality within the Service Desk. It would be great if we didn't need to purchase full licenses just so someone can review and approve a change request (they don't need to create them).
I Second David Caranfa's request. We are currently in the middle of looking at the service desk to migrate to. Customer approvals for Change requests would be a big bonus for us. At times we need to schedule server\Application outages for changes and Issues. To be able to have an approval change would be an excellent bonus for both our customers and us.
Hi Luke, I would not really say they are the best work arounds as this means we have to pay for extra users or pass these expenses onto our customers. Not really a solution that we are happy to implement. I would have thought that as changes would be in a customers environment that it would make sense that the customer would be approving the changes not the people making the change. Also is there a way so the customer can at least see the change? I have assigned but they are still unable to see it.