Over the last 2+ decades implementing HEAT IT Service Management and Ivanti Service & Asset Manager, the following implementation milestones, aka rollout milestones, or roadmap have been deeply ingrained and proven to be the ultimate success factor and project structure.
From Scope of Work to Go-Live (Rollout) there are many steps that need to be carefully planned, communicated, and enforced.
Regression testing refers to testing of existing functionality to ensure that recent changes do not adversely affect existing features.
For example, when implementing Asset Management, the existing Incident functionality is tested to test use cases such as creating an incident, creating a task, updating incidents, closing tasks, incidents, etc
In addition to UAT Test Scripts, you will want to do a comparison of existing workspaces, existing functionality, and existing features, to ensure existing functionality has not been impacted.
Ivanti Best Practice: If you want to run Ivanti Service Manager UAT and PROD tenants side by side, you need to use a different browsers (not just different tab), as otherwise the browser cache may become corrupted or cause issues. So for example you can use Google Chrome for UAT and Internet Explorer for PROD.
When it comes to Ivanti Best Practices there is no better source than that of a seasoned Consultant with the voice of experience of years of Ivanti Professional Services, Ivanti Implementations, Upgrades, with Ivanti Service Manager (powered by HEAT IT Service Management) and Ivanti Asset Manager.
One of the most crucial steps in System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is User Acceptance Testing (UAT), a type of system and business objective validation, performed by the end users, and business objective sign off by the project owner; not to be confused with System Testing which is performed by the Ivanti Developer and/or ISM Administrator
Many Ivanti Service Manager implementations fall short when it comes to proper UAT Testing, be it due to a lack of resources, time, or budget, but more often than not due to a shortcoming of proper UAT Action Plan,UAT Test Cases and Scripts and a lack of Best Practices, Strategy, Coordination, and Planning.
Today we shall focus on Ivanti Best Practices for UAT.
UAT Best Practices
Daily Stand-Up Calls coordinated by the decision maker and UAT Test Lead with the UAT Test Team
Review of UAT Decision Tree
Review Test Results, questions, unexpected behaviour, workarounds, tester comments
Review Reference Data to-do list for PROD
Identify key areas for training (bullet points)
Test Case Maintenance – identify new test cases or changes needed to existing test cases
Daily Email Summary to the ISM Consultant, bullet points, of areas that need to be addressed, identifying “show-stoppers” and “must-haves”, “questions”
Scribe – Appoint a person to take meeting notes, and keep track of any “nice-to-haves”, “parking lot items”, “knowledge articles” needed. Typically this function falls on the Knowledge Manager/Trainer.
Weekly Calls with ISM Consultant to review the progress, test results, and discuss UAT remediation scope.
Focus on Job Functions, not features, not enhancements, not future phases.
No Bug Hunts – The point of UAT is not to find bugs. It’s to ensure day-to-day functions can be carried out and the steps for those job functions are documented for training purposes. Any unexpected behaviour can be recorded in tester comments.
Keep it Simple – Focus on test cases at hand. If there are any issues, make sure to record the reference #, 1 or 2 screenshots, bullet point tester comments, no need for long novels with pages of screenshots.
Gregor, a former Kifinti Solutions Consultant, is without doubt a unique and distinctive authority in the Ivanti ITSM space with his consulting and development experience and extensive insight to best practices going back over 24 years with the HEAT and now Ivanti Service Manager (ISM) and Ivanti Asset Manager (IAM) products.
Developing, streamlining, best practices and latest solutions for fortune 500 companies and Frontrange Business Partners (Change Control, Avante Solutions, Kifinti Solutions) and Ivanti Business Partners (Kifinti Solutions, DDS IT), worldwide.
a19 UAT Test Scripts Module for Ivanti Service Manager (HEAT)
The a19 UAT Test Scripts module significantly improves your Ivanti Service Manager Implementation, Upgrades, and collaboration internally and with your Ivanti Consultant.
Gone are the days of using Excel for UAT Test Scripts, or worse, heading into darkness without UAT Test Scripts!
Long time Ivanti Consultants, Ivanti Business Partners, and Ivanti Customers alike only dream of having a simple UAT Test tool that cuts their implementation time and cost.
Lets face it, when you’re implementing Ivanti Service Manager, you want to focus on strategy and quick execution. Validation Testing is the #1 problem with most ISM Implementations, upgrades, customizations, and integrations due to a lack of UAT Test Scripts.
The #2 problem is a lack of process. With an average of over 100 test cases, you need a tool that redefines your Ivanti Service Manager Validation Process.
The #3 problem is collaboration. How do you keep your team’s morale up and focused on the key areas for testing when you don’t have a proper UAT Testing System that’s real-time, easy-to-use, and clearly defines key roles, responsibilities, and lets the Subject Matter Experts focus on their area of expertise when you don’t have a proper system?!
On top of that, you need precise, concise, timely, and relevantTest Cases and Results to make informed decisions and identify actions needed, all while keeping a bird’s eye view with relevant dashboards, analytics, FAQs, announcements, simplified ISM Change Control, and an executive summary.
“Gregor and a19 Consulting were able to work with us to align our working processes with the workflows within the Ivanti Service Manager tool, leveraging a19 Ivanti Best Practices and latest solutions. The implementation team from Kifinti Solutions were helpful in getting it up and running, but we needed someone that could take EXP to the next level and configure the tool so we could utilize all of its potential.” says Steven Morin, Helpdesk Manager, at EXP.
An often overlooked best practice is that for file naming conventions, albeit not an Ivanti Service Manager Best Practice, it certainly is a best practice you should consider for your Ivanti Service Manager and Ivanti Asset Manager Projects.
Files should always be renamed with a prefix of the last modified date in YYYY-MM-DD format, for sorting purposes, and contain a meaningful name and version number.
The file name itself should be meaningful to the subject matter and topic at hand, for example if you’re working on UAT Test Scripts for Ivanti Service Manager then you could use 2020-05-19 HEAT ISM – UAT Test Scripts as the complete file name. Leading Date, Subject Mater, and Topic.
Descriptions such as “final” and “complete” should also be discouraged as 99% of the time there will be revisions. This best practice ensures files are easily found, sorted, and clearly indicate the last modified date, version, and file contents.
Note that the file saved date/time often changes as files are sent via email, download again, copied, or saved by mistake.
For example, Task #8043 has two attachments and without proper file naming conventions it is unclear which file is the latest for the Ivanti Service Manager UAT Test scripts:
Copy of 2020-09-11 – Sample UAT Test Scripts Complete.xls should be 2020-09-11 HEAT ISM – UAT Test Scripts v2
2020-09-11 – Sample UAT Test Scripts Complete.xls should be 2020-09-14 HET ISM – UAT Test Scripts v3
In Summary, for file naming conventions use the format YYYY-MM-DD Subject Matter – Topic – v#.
The purpose of User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is to test use cases, that is specific day-to-day operations in the life of an end-user and their required tasks to perform their job function
UAT Testing differs from System Testing in that System Testing is focused on software functionality. UAT Testing is focused on job function, that is day to day operations can be performed. Therefor access to Ivanti Service Manager (powered by HEAT) is not needed to build UAT Test cases, in fact it is discouraged to use HEAT as your focus should be on building use cases about day to day operations, operating procedures, such as Logging an Incident, searching for customers, assigning 2nd level support, and so on.
Regression testing refers to testing of existing functionality to ensure that recent changes do not adversely affect existing features. For example, when implementing Asset Management, the existing Incident functionality is tested to test use cases such as creating an incident, creating a task, updating incidents, closing tasks, incidents, etc. In addition to UAT Test Scripts, you will want to do a comparison of existing workspaces, existing functionality, and existing features, to ensure existing functionality has not been impacted.
There is more to Ivanti Service Manager Consulting Projects than software & systems. You need to take a holistic approach and carefully plan your implementation, upgrades, and enhancements. It starts without the software, and requires strategy over tactics. It all starts with goals. S.M.A.R.T. Goals.
SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time–bound
Goals should be as specific as possible, even if this means breaking them down, by including answers to the popular “W” questions: Who, What, When, Where, Which, Why
If a goal is not measurable, it is not possible to know whether a team is making progress toward successful completion. If it’s an Ivanti Project that’s going to take a few months to complete, then set some milestones by considering specific tasks to accomplish.
A goal needs to be achievable, but at the same time it must not be too easy.
A goal that supports or is in alignment with other goals would be considered a relevant goal, focusing on something that makes sense with the broader business goal or Ivanti Project.
A time-bound goal is intended to establish a sense of urgency. After all a goal that lacks realistic timing, changes are you’re not going to succeed with your Ivanti Project.
Measurable: Milestones, at least three internal meetings, and breakout sessions for the SMEs for the below categories, with at least 6 test cases that are aligned to the Standard Operating Procedures; Regression Testing, Asset Scanning, Procurement.
Achievable: Focus on day-to-day job functions as outlined by the SOPs and seek guidance from SMEs and the decision maker as needed.
Relevant: Day to day job functions only as per the SOPs. Do not use the software, this would be system testing, focus is on job functions and satisfying day to day operational tasks.
Time-bound: Target Date September 19, with first meeting on September 10, follow up meeting on September 15, and review September 17th.
Software asset management (SAM) is a business practice that involves managing and optimizing the purchase, deployment, maintenance, utilization, and disposal of software applications within an organization.
Ivanti Asset Manager
Ivanti Asset Manager (IAM) is a much talked about “new” product that was released with ITxM 2018.3 and actively promoted with ITxM 2019.1.
ITxM 2019 in fact consists of Ivanti Service Manager (ISM) and Ivanti Asset Manager (IAM).
Ivanti Asset Manager has been around for a while and Ivanti Service Manager, formerly known as HEAT, has done Asset Management since its early HEAT for Windows days in the 1990’s.
Software Asset Management followed a little later with the HEAT ITSM using Software Inventory and Software Product Configuration Items (CI).
IAM Business Objects
To someone new to ISM/IAM the SAM implementation looks like something of a “Frankenstein hodge podge”. There is a combination of Legacy, DSM, and IAM business objects, and relationships. That is by design. Upgrades from HEAT SM, DSM, and ISM to IAM vary, as do discovery tools and sources, plural, (more on that on a future post) and so do requirements as per business processes and standard operating procedures (SOP).
Getting Started with SAM
Strategy. Architecture. Processes. There really is not quick and easy way to just “install”SAM. Careful consideration, planning, and data analysis is required to determine where you are today, where you want to go, and the steps to take you there. While there are some common practices and implementation methods, every organization has variances that must be considered, carefully. What are your sources? What data are you capturing, where and how? What processes are manual versus automated. How are you tracking your licenses and entitlements today, what details, and at what level. Vendors, Manufacturers, Versions, Features, License Keys, etc. What does you procurement process look like? Alerts, renewal reminders? It’s best you start simple with data analysis, process analysis, document workflows, processes, entity relationships (ERD), and build a proof of concept, followed by a prototype to validate each step of the process.
If your Software Asset Management really is a simple slam-dunk, then all of the above steps will be very quick, but I can almost certainly guarantee you from experience that there are always variances. The devil is in the details as you say. And usually with the most complex and expensive software titles and products.
Developed by a veteranIvanti Consultant and Systems Developer, who has consulted for and mentored Frontrange Business Partners (Change Control, Avante Solutions) and Ivanti Business Partners (Kifinti Solutions, DDS IT) alike.
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The ITxM Space (ITSM, IT Service Management, ITAM, IT Asset Management) has never been more exciting, as is the transformation to ESM (Enterprise Service Management).
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