Fall 2011 [Number 251] Printable version (262 KB PDF) Download Adobe Reader Please note that this issue of Interface is an archived issue. Therefore, the information contained in each article may no longer be current.
NINDS and CIT have collaborated to re-invigorate the work of the NIH Change Management Communications Working Group under the NIH IT Management Committee (ITMC). This effort seeks to carry the benefits of Change Communications to the NIH community at large (for more about Change Management, see also the Change Management at CIT article in this issue).
Enhancing NIH's Change Communications
At the February 1, 2011 ITMC Meeting, NINDS and CIT announced an effort to breathe fresh life into the NIH Change Management Communications Working Group by taking a two-pronged approach to the problem of change communications across the NIH enterprise. First, the group was to develop an Enterprise Architecture (EA) Business Process Model around CM. This would be a best community practice that would represent a more idealized vision of how Change Management could be done across NIH's various ICs, while also providing a framework for start-up CM initiatives to design processes that would cleanly integrate into the larger NIH environment. Second, the group was charged with designing an inter-IC change communications process that could be implemented immediately by any interested ICs, organizations, or system owners.
Reviewing existing CM Processes at NIH
In March, the working group kicked off with a free-ranging review of the Change Management processes in place at the participants' organizations, various ITIL maturity models, the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), frameworks for the integration of Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) with Project Management (PM), and a host of other related topics. From this starting point, the group built an EA process model framework that they submitted to the Office of the Chief Enterprise Architect just before Memorial Day. The working group received a few well-considered comments during the EA RFC review period in July, which they integrated into the document. On August 30, the Architectural Review Board (ARB) approved the process model for inclusion in the NIH Enterprise Architecture.
The EA CM Process model
The EA model provides organizations who are implementing Change Management processes with a framework that they can use, which enables them to integrate their processes into the larger, federated NIH environment. While the model is not a complete, nuts and bolts textbook for Change Management implementation (ITIL and similar ITSM frameworks can provide that), it does offer a set of key points and deliverables that will support NIH enterprise change communications.
The IT Maintenance & Outage Calendar
After submitting the process model, the working group turned its attention to designing a real-world communications process that interested organizations could begin implementing immediately. They needed a central repository for proposed changes; for this, the group turned to the IT Maintenance & Outage Calendar, a web-based table of upcoming maintenance activities provided by CIT.
Under the process, each participating organization provides their maintenance activity information to the CIT Continuity Assurance Program (CAP) for posting to the calendar. Participants also routinely review the calendar as part of their own CM process to check for potential conflicts. The working group developed templates to use in communications with CAP, and spearheaded a pending overhaul to the IT Maintenance & Outage Calendar that will better enable participants to post and review content, and will improve reporting (the update is scheduled to roll out on September 28). The process also includes tables with guidance as to assessing what maintenance activities should be posted to the calendar, and what activities require Hot News notifications.
Now, it's your turn
At the September ITMC meeting, the working group presented the communications process, and is now actively soliciting organizations interested in participating in the process. Not all organizations at NIH will likely choose to participate, but the working group believes that if a dedicated group does implement the process within their organizations, they can demonstrate its value to the entirety of NIH.
The NIH Change Communications Plan is available to NIH staff at the following URL: http://sps.itil.cit.nih.gov/ChangeManagement/NIHCommunications/.
NINDS and CIT would like to thank the many ICs and organizations that have participated in the working group over its lifespan, including CC, eRA, NBS, NHLBI, NIAID, NIDCR, NIEHS, NIGMS, OD/OIT, and OD/ORS. We also would like to acknowledge that many others have provided input and feedback to the process, and though too many to list, we appreciate all of their efforts on our behalf.
If your IC is interested in participating in the change communications process, please contact Geoff Marsh (CIT) or Pete Soltys (NINDS).
|Published by Center for Information Technology, National Institutes of Health|
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