The customers and suppliers of "Cater Matters" are making increasing use of the company's online services to manage ordering and the supply chain.
Although it basically meets the needs of the business, the currently implemented system was not designed to support a high level of activity. Both Availability Management and Capacity Management have reported inadequacies in the process and the risk of future bottlenecks if the current rate of growth continues.
Moreover, the company's management has decided to bolster its online presence and offer customers higher levels of service in order to build its market share.
This all requires a substantial change in both the hardware and software driving the company's online services, and the connection with the organisation's internal management software (ERP).
The company's management therefore raised an RFC and submitted it to Change Management. The objectives of the RFC were:
- To increase the capacity of the company's web servers in order to enhance connectivity and response capacity.
- To develop a series of WebServices permitting:
- Direct integration of the online ordering system with the company's ERP system.
- Tracking of the whole ordering process.
- Management of the whole supply chain remotely in conjunction with suppliers.
- To redesign the website to enhance usability and optimise it for search engine indexing.
After recording the RFC:
- The request is given the "accepted" status and provisionally assigned normal priority and high impact.
- A meeting of the CAB is called, and the people in charge of e-commerce and web programming are asked to attend.
- A preliminary evaluation of the project is requested from the outside consultant who supervised the whole implementation process for the current system.
Prior to the CAB's meeting the Change Manager, in close coordination with Capacity, Availability, Financial and Service Level Management, and top management and project management, prepares:
- An initial evaluation of the costs and necessary resources.
- An evaluation of the impact of the changes on the IT infrastructure.
- A preliminary Gantt chart of the process.
- A survey so that the Service Desk can sound out customers' opinions about the possible changes.
After weighing up the documentation submitted and the organisation's business strategy, the CAB approves the change, and:
- Finalises the schedule for the change.
- Assigns the internal and external resources needed.
- Develops a plan allowing for the temporary coexistence of both online systems to ensure continuity of service. This will involve:
- Duplication of the whole web structure: new servers will be bought so that the old ones can continue providing continuous service and are immediately available for a possible back-out.
- "Translation" applications will be developed so as to enable the old databases to be kept up-to-date in order to avoid the loss of data in the event of a back-out.
- Configuration Management is informed about all the CIs affected by the change.
- The same consultancy that implemented the current system is asked to perform an external audit on the whole process.
- All the information necessary for Version Management to be able to start the testing and implementation process is prepared.
After the change is implemented, in conjunction with "Service Support" and "Service Delivery", Change Management:
- Confirms the change is successful:
- The new system has sufficient capacity to provide the envisaged levels of service and availability.
- The new system works without apparent errors.
- Customers and suppliers perceive the change as an improvement in service delivery.
- Productivity has improved.
- A check is made to ensure everything has been recorded in the CMDB correctly.
- The process is evaluated.
- The change is closed.