Solution! Sending logical notifications for Review Activities

One of the most frustrating elements of SCSM is the limited ability to include items from a parent Service Request in Review Activity notifications, and the bug with selecting the incorrect manager as a Reviewer:

  1. The name of the Affected User of the parent Service Request not being available to insert in the Review Activity notification
  2. The incorrect line manager being selected for Requests created in the Service Manager console – when Line Manager Should Review is set to True, the manager of the Created By user is selected instead of the Affected User‘s manager

Well, my friends at Olikka and I have developed a solution using Orchestrator that addresses these 2 frustrations. Our Runbook Activity captures the Affected User’s name and inserts into the title of the Review Activity, and adds the Affected User’s manager as a Reviewer in the same Review Activity. Now, when a notification is triggered (when the status of the Review Activity changes from Pending to In Progress), the correct manager is notified, and the person can now easily determine who is making the request.

Orchestrator Runbook

Orchestrator Runbook

  1. The Service Request template is created with the Runbook Activity inserted as the first Activity
  2. A Service Request is created, either in the SM console or via the Self-Service Portal
  3. The Runbook kicks off and updates the subsequent Review Activity:
    1. The name of the Affected User of the parent SR is captured and inserted into the Review Activity Title
    2. The Line Manager of the Affected User is determined and is inserted as a Reviewer
  4. After the Runbook Activity completes, the Review Activity status is set to In Progress, and the notification workflow is triggered.
  5. The Manager processes the approval or rejection
  6. The Review Activity is marked as complete.
Approval Process with Orchestrator

Approval Process with Orchestrator

Whilst it is disappointing that we had to use Orchestrator to address what should be standard functionality, but it’s pleasing that a manual workaround has been eliminated.

Here’s the Runbook for you to look at (use in a Dev/Test environment):

UPDATE: When you insert the Runbook Activity into a Service Request template, you have to specify the mapping value of the ServiceRequestID (which is the parent work item ID) with the Work Item ID:

Configuring the Runbook Activity

Configuring the Runbook Activity


This entry was posted in Automation, Notifications and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Solution! Sending logical notifications for Review Activities

  1. danikuci says:

    awesome solution!

    Have you noticed that sometimes multiple reviewers are added to the review activity? If the affected user’s manager also has a manager listed in AD, then it pulls both managers and makes them reviewers. If I remove the relationship between the second manager, then it does not. Or at least it does in my test lab. Any idea how to get around this?

    • Hi, I haven’t seen that behaviour before…in our environment, if the option “Line Manager Should Review” is selected, then only the user’s manager is inserted, not the manager’s manager. Have you had any success resolving this?

  2. Peter says:

    Hi there,
    first of all thanks for this solution.
    I tried it in our Lab environment, however I can’t seem to get it working properly.
    There is one mapping in the activity “ServideRequestID” that I can’t seem to get the mapping right in the Runbook Activity template, should this be mapped to “Workitem>ID” ?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s