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Managing "Enhancement Requests" via Service Manager


dwalby
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Hi all,

We're currently reviewing the way we handle requests to add new functionality or features to our line of business applications, which has been termed by some within the IT department as "enhancement requests". Historically we've raised them as Service Requests, however we often find they remain open/on-hold for a long time whilst awaiting it to be scheduled alongside already planned works, then resolve once it's been implemented.

Obviously we have Service Requests raised for standard services, such as granting access to systems, new equipment, etc.  but how do you guys manage requests that may come in by e-mail for example, requesting for new functionality which are likely to require planned resource, money, risks, etc.? Should it initially be raised as a Service Request, then analysed and linked to a Project (within Service Manager) for example?

I'd be interested to hear your views and any feedback you may have!

Thanks in advance

 

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We handle these as service requests, primarily since our developers use Jira as their tool. We keep the requests open until CAB has given a go-ahead or rejected the requests then just informing the customer of the outcome and to read the release notes of future releases if the proposal has been OK'd.

So far it's worked well with the customers we have.

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Thanks both, ideally we're hoping to contain the whole process within the Hornbill platform (where possible) then transition out of Hornbill, with integration (if possible) with any bespoke tools being used in the department (Target Process, Jira & Trello) where required.

I think I may just need to review the Service Request process and incorporate a 'assess' stage to identify whether the request warrants a Project.

More thinking required!

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Hi @dwalby

We are big users of Workspaces when it comes to enhancement requests.  Posts on the Forums are added to a workspace where we can collaborate on the requirement up to a point where we have the information we need to raise a change.   This initial visibility and discussion in the workspaces is an important part of our process.  It allows others who may not normally participate in a formal change process add their ideas.

Once we feel we are ready for a change, we use the action menu on the workspace post for raising changes.  This keeps everything nicely linked up.  The change will have the post as the source where all of the initial discussions can be reviewed and the post will have the change reference automatically added as a new comment.   Our BPM is set up to automatically update the post as the change progresses so that everyone that participated in the workspace post is kept up to date.

We have a CAB Board and a Development Scrum Board that helps us visualise the progress of the changes.  This is mostly driven again by the BPM.  The change type/size will influence the BPM workflow and how a change progresses. Where some are very minor and can go straight to the development team, other changes have to go through CAB and detailed planning. 

We then utilise the Release Records to bring together the changes and fixes that form an update.

That is our process in a nutshell... There is some detail in the progressive capture, workflow, and the contents of the change where we work with mock-ups, requirements, documentation, etc but also we try not to over complicate the process as we do like to work in an agile way where we can.  

Hope this helps.  Let us know if you have any questions about any particular part.

Regards,

James
  

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@James Ainsworth - Thanks for this, I'm finding it difficult to influence the use of workspaces within Hornbill as I think I've mentioned previously we already use Microsoft Teams as our collaboration tool, which carries a number of useful features. I think you've looked at integrating this but the APIs are a way off, but I'm hoping this will be possible in future.

In the meantime, we're likely to continue to receive "enhancement requests" via e-mail, in which case we'd raise as a Service Request and where necessary we could utilize the option to "add to board" and have a "Development Scrum Board" as you suggest. As you say, ideally it'd be best to work this into a ProgCap, BPM, etc. so I'll be reviewing this and look to implement asap. Thanks again for your guidance on this, as always very useful.

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@dwalby just to add in here using the Hornbill iBridge you do have options in your service manager business processes for requests for enhancements to come in via email or the portal, and then based on an assessment of the requirement you could choose to raise a change or release or if you felt it required a Project, you can automate the creation of the project in Project Manager on Hornbill using the integration call in the business process (perhaps of the back of a task outcome), you can pass in the enhancement details as variables and even invoke a predefined Project Template with stakeholders, milestones, and tasks auto-created.

 

https://wiki.hornbill.com/index.php/Hornbill_Integration_Bridge

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Project Manager Templates - https://wiki.hornbill.com/index.php/Project_Templates

The iBridge can also be used to create card in Trello, and Bootcamp (two other external Project Management tools) if desired

https://wiki.hornbill.com/index.php/Hornbill_iBridge

There is a list of the available integrations to other cloud services on the wiki and example videos for a number of these (including trello)

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Finally the other option you have is defining Catalog Items under the Change Request Type for your services, and allowing subscribers of the service (via the portal) to submit enhancement requests as changes and then use the business process to assess and reject or progress them (removes the need to promote anything from a Service Request) - if you wanted to do this you would need to enable changes on the service portal using this system setting:

image.png

Hope that helps

Steve

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