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Need Communications Tool in IT Department

It's the age old problem. We support a group of clients as SMEs for an application. We get support tickets, calls and emails when the application is not functioning correctly. So we work and troubleshoot, only to find that application development group has made changes, but failed to notify us.

Is there a tool available that developers etc. can use to painlessly let us know when changes are made?

Thanks
D
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dlewis61
Asked:
dlewis61
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2 Solutions
 
tpitch-ssemcCommented:
It's called Change Management and will forever been a problem in IT departments! There are methods on how to handle that, but most of them are policies. There are a few applications that can track changes, I'm sure you could Google for "open source change management" and find a list but here are a couple I've used in the past few years.

http://www.numarasoftware.com/track-it/change-management/

http://www.manageengine.com/products/service-desk/
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dlewis61Author Commented:
It's really angered me. Thanks for your input!
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tpitch-ssemcCommented:
I understand, nothing worse than someone changing server roles and me as a server admin not knowing and rebooting or troubleshooting the wrong box (or worse)! Change Management is a valuable process once implemented. It creates a lot of extra paper work and processes (which equates to delay in changes), but everyone knows the process.

In my past experience with change management (in an Excel document), consisted of the purpose of the change, summary of the process, and estimated time of change (including any back out procedures). It made simple changes like network equipment firmware difficult to do because it took more time to do the paper work than it did to do the change. The major key when implementing Change Mangement is communication. The change requestor must coordinate with all parties involved. Which includes customers (internal or external), people doing the changes, management, and even anyone supporting the item to be chagned (ie server admin).

Be careful when throwing around change management policies. If you choose to implement it, you can't back down for a single change or no one will ever go through the chagne approval process.

Oh, you'll also want to look at a Change Approval Board which is part of the process. Assuming you're going all out with Change Mangement... Best of luck!
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dlewis61Author Commented:
good recommendations!!
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