Monday, January 24, 2011

The “Soft” part of SharePoint - Part 5, Change Management

This time something that is not really SharePoint related, but this doesn’t make it less important!

Way too many times I have seen “Administrators from the Wild West”, in other words true cowboys. Clicking links and buttons like their lives depended on it. Reading error messages is so 2010 :-)

When troubleshooting an issue, Google is my friend. However not all answers given on the Internet always work or are safe to the environment. What if something goes wrong and I bring down the environment…… a lot of cases all hell will break loose and I have to test my running skills :-p

How to prevent this?
Every change you are about to implement to a production environment is supposed to be tested before implementation. If you are working as an administrator (server or application), I hope you are familiar with ITIL* and its procedures, especially change management. If not, see the “More info” section and read up real quick!!

In a lot of cases Change Management is seen as a pain in the butt. But when implemented correctly it can save you a lot of work or better yet save you from having to do some overtime. The goal of change management is to make you think well about the change you are going to implement and put those steps on paper:
  • What are you trying to fix/resolve/accomplish?
  • What changes are you going to make?
  • What are the steps to implement the change?
  • What are the components that are affected?
  • What is the impact of the change for users and administrators?
  • Who needs to be notified about the change?
  • What to do if something goes wrong?
  • What to document afterwards?
  • Etc, etc
But that is not all: Two know more than one. Change management is also about having the thought process reviewed by others. These persons can have the same type of skills, but it is also important to have it reviewed by persons with different skills. Maybe your change has impact on their area of expertise you didn’t think of.

Change Management and DTAP
In combination with a DTAP strategy, Change Management can become even more powerful. All changes are tested on the Test environment, the implementation procedure tested on the Acceptance environment, after which the change is implemented on the Production environment.

More info:
Change Management:

No comments: