The Sharing and Reuse Action aims at supporting and enabling public administrations to share and reuse IT solutions in order to provide electronic services to citizens. Some public administrations and governments across the EU already promote the sharing and reuse of IT solutions when deploying digital service infrastructures, by adopting new business models and promoting the use of open source software for IT services. However, there is still room for improvement, as a number of organisational, legal, technical, and communication barriers still need to be tackled.
To help EU, national, regional and local public administrations overcome these barriers, the Sharing and Reuse Action has developed the Sharing and Reuse Framework for IT Solutions (SRF). The SRF addresses EU, national, regional and local public administrations that aim at reducing costs, increasing their efficiency and fostering interoperability by reusing, sharing or jointly developing IT solutions that meet common requirements.
Considering the SRF's important role in supporting public administrations improve public services through sharing or reusing IT solutions, it needs to have a clearly defined change management approach.The change management methodology below formalises how changes to the SRF are managed and how new releases are published.
The proposed change management methodology has the following characteristics:
- Openness: In order for public administrations to rely on the SRF, the openness of change management is key. Openness is also a key assessment criterion in the Common Assessment Method of Standards and Specifications. Openness means that any stakeholder can submit Requests For Change (RFCs) and that the analysis and decisions taken are logged transparently. An open change management process improves the quality of the SRF.
- Controlled change: Public administrations that are following the SRF recommendations throughout the lifecycle of an IT solution must not experience a negative impact as a result of unexpected changes to the SRF. A release schedule must be established, allowing changes to take place in a stepwise and traceable manner. New releases should also follow a consistent versioning approach.
The change management methodology relies on generic change and release management processes in ITILv3 and the “Description of a change management release and publication process for structural metadata specifications developed by the ISA Programme” developed under the ISA Action on Promoting Semantic Interoperability amongst the European Union Member States (SEMIC).
This change management methodology takes into account the different parts of the SRF (i.e.: recommendations, supporting instruments and recommended measures), and adjusts the SEMIC methodology to the needs of Sharing and Reuse Framework.
The methodology covers the management of the updates to the SRF, following an approach that would allow the European Commission to manage them in a suitable, transparent, and sustainable way.