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CHIPS Articles: DISA improves customer experience by establishing recurring maintenance schedule, reducing service interruptions

DISA improves customer experience by establishing recurring maintenance schedule, reducing service interruptions
By Alexandra Snyder, DISA Strategic Communication and Public Affairs - April 9, 2019
In an effort to decrease authorized service interruptions (ASI) and increase customer awareness of system maintenance schedules across the Defense Information Systems Agency’s enterprise, the DISA Command Center (DCC) will implement a formal process for recurring maintenance actions in April 2019.

ASIs are formal, coordinated requests to schedule maintenance or change actions within the enterprise. The changes have the potential to adversely impact mission partner and vendor circuits, systems, services, and capabilities provided to the DISA enterprise, with downtimes ranging from minutes to hours.

In 2015, DISA executed more than 8,000 ASIs. In the years since, the agency and its operational environment has grown exponentially, adding more infrastructure, transport, network components, services, applications, and customers. Currently, the agency executes an average of 15,000 ASIs annually.

“Managing ASIs has become extremely labor intensive and complex as a result of DISA’s continually expanding mission,” said Timothy Noel, chief of the ASI Management Branch at DISA Headquarters. “To improve ease within the process, we’ve streamlined and better defined the recurring maintenance window and other processes in managing enterprise systems.”

A recurring maintenance window is a defined period of time during which planned maintenance actions and/or changes to DISA’s enterprise may occur during regular intervals. “Defining these windows allows DISA’s customers to prepare for possible disruptions or changes within the enterprise,” said Dave Bennett, director of DISA’s Operations Center.

“Customers will now have a formalized, standard process using an established, pre-selected criteria mechanism for scheduled recurring maintenance actions,” he said. “This will provide increased awareness of maintenance schedules, and decrease the total amount of time needed to coordinate maintenance within DISA’s enterprise. The amount of ASIs will decrease, reducing the efforts needed to track multiple scheduled interruptions, as well as reducing scheduling conflicts.”

Recurring maintenance window implementation is closely aligned with globally accepted change management processes. Initial maintenance window implementation will consist of:

  • Maintenance actions with no or minor impact to DISA’s customers and mission partners;
  • A proven record of maintenance accomplishments conducted for a significant amount of time without impact or incident; and
  • Maintenance that has been conducted during specified timeframes, with consistently positive results.

A DISA advisory message (DAM) and DISA tasking order (DTO) will be released with additional information and instructions.

Mission partners should direct all questions regarding this effort to the DCC ASI Team at 301-225-3400, DSN 312-375.

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