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ITS Change Window Policy

1.0       OBJECTIVE

The objective of Brandeis University (“University”) Information Technology Services (“ITS”) in the development and implementation of this policy is to create effective administrative controls and safeguards for the protection of production IT services during the scheduling of change events.

2.0.      PURPOSE

The purpose of the Change Window Policy is to ensure proper notification and coordination between ITS and the Brandeis Community in the scheduling and execution of changes to production IT services.

3.0.      SCOPE

This Policy applies to all Brandeis University ITS employees, whether full- or part-time, including administrative staff, union staff, contract and temporary workers, hired consultants, interns, and student employees executing changes to production ITS services or other Brandeis University services where ITS assistance is required.

4.0       DEFINITIONS

Change Window

A predetermined period of time during which ITS can reasonably perform proactive maintenance and improvements to the IT environment.

Production Services

A controlled environment containing live configuration items used to deliver IT services to customers.

5.0       POLICY

5.1       SCHEDULING OF CHANGES

Any changes to production services shall,

  • Be scheduled at times considered to be non-peak hours (outside business or prime usage hours) for the users of the impacted service.
  • Be scheduled on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, to allow ITS staff sufficient time during the week to monitor and respond to issues.
  • Be scheduled to not overlap at any level with other changes at the same time.

5.2       LENGTH OF CHANGES

Any change window shall have sufficient time to support:

  • Notification of impacted staff immediately prior to the change implementation.
  • Implementation of the proposed changes.
  • Post-implementation testing of the proposed changes
  • Implementation of the rollback plan if the change fails or does not pass the testing criteria.
  • Notification of impacted staff immediately after end of the proposed change outlining the current state of the modified services.

5.3       NOTIFICATIONS

ITS adheres to the University's Broadcast Email Procedures on minimizing the number of announcements that are sent to the entire Brandeis Community. Therefore, scheduled change notifications should be sent to change stakeholders (including users of a particular system, the Help Desk, and/or other supporting parties as appropriate, etc.) through targeted emails. In instances where the entire Brandeis Community will be affected, the University's Broadcast Email Procedures should be followed accordingly.

Notifications prior to change windows consists of:

  • Sending an email notification to impacted users and the Help Desk (1) one week prior to scheduled event window containing the scheduling details of the event and what services will be impacted.
  • Publishing an update to the Brandeis University Status Page (status.brandeis.edu) containing the scheduling details of the event and what services will be impacted.
  • Sending an email notification to impacted users and the Help Desk (1) one day prior to scheduled event window containing the scheduling details of the event and what services will be impacted.

Notifications immediately prior to start of change:

  • If the scheduled change, in any way, impacts public safety services, Public Safety Dispatch (x65000) should be contacted immediately prior to the start of the change event. These public safety services include, but not limited to, telephone services, access control, video surveillance, etc.

Notifications after change windows consists of:

  • If the scheduled change, in any way, impacted public safety services, Public Safety Dispatch (x65000) should be contacted immediately following the change event. These public safety services include, but not limited to, telephone services, access control, video surveillance, etc.
  • Sending an email notification to the impacted users and the Help Desk immediately following the change window current state of the service.
  • Publishing an update to the Brandeis University Status Page (status.brandeis.edu) containing the status of the impacted systems.

6.0       EMERGENCY CHANGES

In the event that an emergency change is required to a production service, portions of the Change Window Policy maybe circumvented with the approval from one of the following:

James La Creta
Chief Information Officer

David Albrecht
Director for Networks, Systems & Security

Peter Nash
Associate Vice President for Information Technology Services

7.0       REVISION HISTORY

Version

Published

Author

Description

1.0

01/19/2018

David Albrecht, Director for Networks, Systems & Security

Lucy Xie, Department Coordinator

Policy was approved by Jim La Creta, CIO on 01/16/2018.