Topic: Commonality in Announcing Changes
Date Received: March 19, 2007

As the S/AAA for ACOMM, I have been gathering feedback from my customers relating to their HPCMP experience. From that exercise, a couple of items were related to what I consider to be Baseline Configuration issues. After reading some of the information at HPCMPO on the topic, I still have a couple of generic questions that maybe you can answer.

They fall under the category of "Commonality in Announcing Changes" and/or "Standardized User Notices".

1) In order to provide adequate reaction time for the users, what is the estimated forewarning time that environmental system changes are forthcoming? In other words, how much reaction time will the users receive before a change to the OS, a compiler, an environment variable, a queue, an installed application, etc will be implemented? This is an issue since various code modifications must be made to adjust to such changes.

During this change implementation process, it would also be good to announce clearly why the change is being implemented and where the users may be directed to find help during the transition. These items may be beneficial just to help remove the perception of the HPCMPO being a dictator of their systems rather than an organization serving their users. Just a thought from one of my users.

Can the users respond to an announcement that an environmental system change is about to take place in hopes that the change may be cancelled? Is there a solicitation period from the users concerning which changes should be made?

Any insight into these types of issues will be appreciated. It is my intent to discover more of how the HPCMPO operates so that I can better represent them to my customers. If you know of someone that can better help me determine the type of information requested, please direct me to them. I will also forward your pending Baseline Configuration projects to my users in hopes that future provisions will bring hope to a better working world for them.

BC Team Feedback
Reply Date:
May 30, 2007

The two Baseline Configuration policies that address the questions you have raised in your input are "Standardized User Notices (FY06-10)" and "Commonality in Announcing Changes (FY06-11)." BC policy FY06-10 was released on the BC Web site last Friday, 25 May 2007 while policy FY06-11 is currently being worked on.

BC policy FY06-10 lists the communication methods that are to be adopted by the participating HPCMP sites to provide messages pertaining to events and/or situations which affect all or the majority of users at a given site.

The purpose of BC policy FY06-11 is to define a set of notification practices that apply to all scheduled system, application software, and library changes across all participating HPCMP sites. BC policy provides adequate reaction time for the users by requiring an "advance notice period" of at least two (2) weeks prior to the scheduled change date. For additional user help, the policy requires from each center to create and maintain a common format change control Web page including the following three attributes: 1) Description of Change, 2) Scheduled Change Date, and 3) Completion Date. In addition to the change control Web page, BC policy FY06-11 recommends notifications that include a) Relevant information about the change, and how to obtain additional information, and b) Point of contact for assistance during the transition period.

The BC team has made sure that the majority of concerns outlined in your input are incorporated in BC policy FY06-11 for the benefit of the DoD user. We sincerely thank you for your valued comments and suggestions.