Manage changes effortlessly with Freshservice

Every organization goes through a lot of changes and evolution, almost on a daily basis.  Every change that is made has the potential to go wrong and cause great harm to the business. As businesses grow, process workflows are bound to increase. How do you balance the need to manage risk, without slowing down the processes and outcomes? How do you ensure that every member in the team is following the standard operating procedure (SOP) that you have set up? The cost of a failed change is very high as there are many users attached to it. To solve this, we have the change lifecycle feature in Freshservice. 

What is a change life cycle?

Change lifecycle is a representation of the service desk’s change process and lets you control the step-by-step transition in the change management process. Using this change life cycle, you can enforce checks on all the change workflows, and also have certain fields made mandatory as the change progresses to the next state. 

Change workflows vary based on the type of change. For example, standard changes do not go through approvals as they are frequently occurring changes, whereas emergency and major changes must require approval.

Let’s consider an example of a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software implementation in your organisation, and how this change can be successfully completed using a change life cycle. The following conditions are supported in the change life cycle.

  1. Mandatory tasks related to this ERP implementation.  Compliance checks, risk planning report, and internal communication.
  2. Approvals from stakeholders. This includes getting the right approvals from stakeholders such as the department head, project head and any others involved.
  3. Fields such as roll out plan and back out plan need to be updated before the project starts. 

Change life cycle lets you configure the above conditions easily. Learn more.

Scenario 1: Pre-planning tasks to be set up for ERP implementation project 

ERP implementation is a major change in any organisation. There are a few pre-conditions that need to be satisfied such as risk mitigation plan, internal and external communication, cost benefit analysis etc. All this can be set up using change lifecycle. Apart from the default statuses, ERP implementation requires addition of new statuses. Change life cycle allows us to add custom statuses as per our requirements. 

Scenario 2: Approval management for ERP project  

Major changes must receive approval from the right stakeholders as both the risk and impact are high for these changes. Change transition can be controlled based on the approval status. An ERP implementation project requires approval of project planning and change scheduling before the change is implemented. Using change life cycle, let’s see how to enforce this approval. 

Scenario 3: Process enforcement at every stage

A change manager ensures that protocol is followed by every team member at every stage. For example, during the planning stage, roll out plan and back out plan must be discussed and completed. Therefore, these fields are made mandatory with the help of a change life cycle. This will also help during audit and reflection, and aid planning of future projects. 

Improve efficiency with change automations

Automation within your service desk is a great way to improve your service desk efficiency. Today’s agents are focused on solving more complex issues rather than attending routine Tier one tasks. Therefore, there is a lot of scope for automation in change management. The Freshservice change automation feature can help you in multiple ways. 

  1. Assign the change to the right team based on the type of change and category
  2. Automation addition and assignment of tasks at every stage
  3. Status updation if the conditions are satisfied
  4. Managing the approvals – triggering approval mails to the right approvers 
  5. Notifying the users or mailing them regarding the change status updation  

Pro-tips for a change manager

Sandbox – As an admin, making changes to automation rules and configurations in your production account can be quite tricky. However, you don’t want to be restricted from trying out new ways or improving existing configurations in your service desk. This is why we’re bringing Sandbox to Freshservice.

With Sandbox, you can create an out-of-the-box environment to test out workflows and configurations before syncing them to your Freshservice account (a.k.a your production account) while keeping away from ramifications. Though Sandbox is a mirror of your Freshservice account, tickets and customer data will not be copied.

Change calendar

Calendar provides an easy overview of all the tasks and changes scheduled in the service desk. Change manager gets a quick glance of all the changes based on the agent group as well. For example, changes scheduled under Database team, capacity management team etc. can be viewed accordingly. Calendar can be viewed daily, weekly or monthly. 

Audit logs

This tracks all the changes that happen in the service desk. This includes what changes are performed, who made the changes along with event description. This is helpful for the change manager during internal and external audit. 

Custom dashboard

Freshservice offers a customizable dashboard for all the agents once they login to the home page. This has relevant widgets for tickets, change, problem and release. For a change manager, widgets such as number of changes classified under change type, and approved versus unapproved changes, give them a quick glimpse when they start their day.   Dashboard acts as a one-stop solution for the change manager as well as agents to review the changes at a glance. 

Key takeaways

  1. Following every step of the change management process is important in the service life cycle
  2. Leverage Freshservice’s change life cycle to ensure process enforcement in your change management process
  3. Use as much automation as possible to improve efficiency and productivity in your change management process. 

Cover image design by Srinivas Dhotre