VT Scientific Discipline Classification Change Management
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This page holds the policy regarding the ownership and management of the EGI Scientific Discipline classification to ensure it is both periodically reviewed and managed through defined processes.
In addition, as the community evolves and potential adoption by other e-Infrastructures expands, the change management policy will provide clarity and transparency regarding its evolution.
Roles and Responsibilities
This work has been coordinated by EGI.eu and partially funded through the EGI-InSPIRE project. The work has been produced to harmonise the use of scientific disciplines classification across EGI tools. The work is released under a creative commons license to promote reuse and contribution by other organisations.
In order to distribute the common scientific classification tree among the EGI services and beyond, while keeping it up-to-date with potential new changes, a single end-point needs to be created that will make the scientific classification available over a simple, developer-friendly, stable/reliable and well defined API.
The host of this service will be IASA
The following link provides the latest information for querying the most up-to-date version of the classification.
The Change Manager for the SDC will be: EGI Strategy and Policy Manager or Senior Strategy and Policy Officer, unless otherwise agreed through the Change Advisory Board (CAB is defined in the next section).
The main duties of the Change Manager, some of which may be delegated, are:
- Receives, logs and allocates a priority to all requests for changes that are totally impractical.
- Tables all Request for Changes (RFCs) for a Change Advisory Board (CAB) meeting, issues an agenda and circulates all requests for changes to Change Advisory Board members in advance of meetings to allow prior consideration.
- Chairs all CAB and ECAB meetings and convenes any urgent CAB meetings for urgent RFCs.
- Authorizes acceptable changes, either alone or after a CAB has taken place.
- Issues change schedules.
- Liaises with all necessary parties to coordinate change building, testing and implementation, in accordance with schedules.
- Updates the change log with all progress that occurs, including any actions to correct problems and/or to take opportunities to improve quality.
- Reviews all implemented changes to ensure that they have met their objectives; refers back any that have been backed out of have failed.
- Reviews all outstanding RFCs.
- Analyses change records to determine any trends.
- Closes RFCs.
- Produces periodic management reports.
Change Advisory Board
The Change Advisory Board (CAB) is an advisory body for handling changes to the classification. The CAB is a body that exists to support the authorisation of changes and to assist change management in the assessment and prioritisation of changes. As and when a CAB is convened, members should be chosen who are capable of ensuring that the change is adequately assessed from both a business and a technical viewpoint. To achieve this, the CAB needs to include people with a clear understanding across the whole range of stakeholder needs. The Change Manager will normally chair the CAB.
The current/active list of CAB members are:
A Change Initiator, or person/persons requesting a change to the classification, is open to anyone, but must contain the rationale for the request change in order to be processed. Potential interested parties include:
- Individual Users (e.g. Researchers)
- User manager(s) (e.g. VO Managers)
- User group representative(s) (e.g. Virtual Research Communities such as WeNMR, LSGC, WLCG)
- Applications developers/maintainers
- Tool Developers (e.g. Operations Portal)
- Senior members of e-Infrastructures (e.g. XSEDE)
Overview of Requirements
The FitSM standard (lightweight service management in federated IT infrastructures) defines a minimum set of requirements for handling change management. This standard will be used as a baseline for defining the processes, procedures and documentation. The requirements are as follows:
- All changes shall be recorded according to a defined procedure.
- All changes shall be classified according to a defined procedure.
- All changes shall be assessed and approved according to a defined procedure.
- There shall be a documented procedure for managing emergency changes.
- In making decisions on the acceptance of requests for change, the risks, potential impacts to services and customers, service requirements, technical feasibility and financial impact shall be taken into consideration.
- A schedule of change shall be maintained. It shall contain details of approved changes, and proposed deployment dates, which shall be communicated to interested parties.
- The steps required to reverse an unsuccessful change or remedy any negative effects shall be planned and tested.
Processes and Procedures
The EGI Requirements Tracker tool will be used for change submission, recording and tracking: https://rt.egi.eu Requests can also sent to a dedicate mailing list at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If possible, all changes should be provided following a defined classification. If not, then the Change Manager should apply a classification of the change for decision handling with the CAB. The following classification is as follows:
- Minor (e.g. grammar)
- Intermediate (e.g. addition to 3rd level; consistency between disciplines; change to single discipline name)
- Major (e.g. re-organisation of levels; moving disciplines between levels)
Assessment and Approval
All minor change requests can be handled by the Change Manager. If needed, consultation can be sought through the CAB.
All intermediate changes will be sent to the CAB with a request for response within 10 days. If further consultation is needed, an agenda point will be specifically added at the next CAB meeting.
All major changes must be sent through the CAB with 20 days for comments, with a specific discussion point for the following CAB meeting.
Emergency or urgent changes will be evaluated by the Change Manager for required action.
Emergency or urgent changes are defined as a technical malfunction resulting from the classification or for revised required prior to presentation (e.g. to funding agencies).
If the request cannot be handled by the Change Manager, then CAB is required to response to the request for an urgent change within 48 hours.
In making decisions on the acceptance of requests for change, the risks, potential impacts to services and customers, service requirements, technical feasibility and financial impact shall be taken into consideration.
The Change Manager is able to rectify all minor changes, with consultation through the CAB as his/her discretion.
The CAB is able to vote on all requests for changes by two-thirds (2/3) majority of two-thirds (2/3) total CAB members present. It is possible to vote through the dedicated mailing list and/or regular meetings.
Schedule of Changes
The overall classification must be reviewed at least once a year. This is scheduled to begin on 1 May and conclude by 30 May of each year.
Changes requested during the year will be evaluated according the change request procedure. Implementation of the change will depend on the complexity of the request and will be handled through the interested party.
In the case of a reversal of an implemented change that was unsuccessful. The CAB will evaluate each case to determine the cause and required steps to be taken.
- Scientific Discipline Classification VT Wiki page: https://wiki.egi.eu/wiki/VT_Scientific_Discipline_Classification
- EGI Scientific Discipline Classification (SDC VT Output) – https://wiki.egi.eu/wiki/VT_Scientific_Discipline_Classification_Classification
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