How to Scale NetSuite Change Management to Your Organization’s Size

Change Management is not very tough in principle but a lot of people seem to think it is (or make it) very tough in practice. FLODocs is designed to bring world class change management to any organization size using automated tools and processes. Ideally, a change management should have:

  1. Clearly defined understandable policies that define the best practices for making different types of changes (e.g. code needs full software development lifecycle, some searches may need nothing at all)
  2. Automated tools for quickly advising you what you are supposed to do according to the policy
  3. Automated warnings about risks and potential impacts
  4. Automated tools for routing approval requests
  5. Automated tools for double-checking all changes to see if they were approved and, if not, a process for approving them.
  6. Automated tools for matching changes to the approvals for them.

Automation is key here. Many companies attempt to do change management manually using a combination of tribal knowledge and committees. Matching individual changes to approvals can be very time-consuming. The result is either a great deal of unnecessary work, risk, or both. FLODocs Closed-Loop Change ManagementTM adapts to teams of various sizes.

FLODocs is easily customizable and can fit into any broader change management approach. The following are three approaches for different sizes and types of organizations:

1. Light Change Management: This approach leverages FLODocs’ ability to check every change to every object covered by FLODocs. It is light, fast and scalable to a small team. It is ideal for smaller companies without complex approval hierarchies. In this approach:

  1. Only a single policy is used
  2. Many changes do not require extensive approval (or any approval)
  3. Approval is managed by IT for changes that may impact scripts, workflows, or integrations.
  4. FLODocs automatically monitors the changes and matches them to approvals. Safe changes are automatically cleared.
  5. Any remaining changes that FLODocs is concerned about are reviewed weekly.

2. IT Best Practices: This approach uses all the capabilities within FLODocs to organize change approvals around the FLODocs system within NetSuite. It is ideal for Mid-Market to Large companies who did not have a sophisticated change management system or whose business systems are centered on NetSuite but want to adopt best practices but don’t have audit responsibilities. In this approach:

  1. Multiple policies are used to set higher or lower change control levels for sensitive parts of the company (e.g. finance-related searches may need more protection than marketing searches).
  2. Automated policy approval rules request approvals from IT, business process owners, and people affected from the changes.
  3. Automated impact analyses using FLODocs to release changes from development to production.
  4. FLODocs automatically monitors the changes and matches them to approvals and/or policies. Safe changes are automatically cleared.
  5. Any remaining changes that FLODocs is concerned about are reviewed weekly.

3. SOX Compliant Change Management: These companies need full auditability and traceability. They’re managing multiple environments and internal and external change teams. They are often working in complex business architectures that extend well beyond NetSuite and may have an external overarching change management process that is subject to SOX or other regulatory audit. This approach extends the IT Best Practices by adding:

  1. Audit reports on all aspects of change and the change process
  2. Regular review of any non-compliant changes in cooperation with the FLODocs team to ensure audit success
  3. Links to external approval or change records
  4. Configurable approval routing from simple rules
  5. Documented segregation of duties between developers and release teams
  6. Formal testing plans and tests
  7. Careful but automated validation of migrated changes against approved and tested scope

Each of the these approaches can be implemented by any size of team very quickly. Now - everyone can have world class change management no matter the size of their team or their responsibilities.