Process of the Month – Software Re-harvesting Process

16 August 2013
4 minute read
Best practice

Process of the Month – Software Re-harvesting Process

16 August 2013
4 minute read

harvestMoving forward I will be writing a monthly feature for ITAM Review on a range of processes that I feel are all too-often missed in the world of SAM.

To that end, I am going to start with a Software Re-harvesting process, as far too many organisations seem to take great pride in producing audit and reconciliation reports, but don’t then follow up on taking action on unused software.

The accompanying process map has been modelled in ARIS, and so the symbols may not be immediately intuitive if you haven’t used ARIS before.

A copy of ARIS Express ™ is available from – free for personal use.  Just in case anyone is still struggling with the symbols, you can use this guidance sheet.  Please note: the diagrams have been crafted in Visio, and so may appear slightly different from ARIS Express, but the framework and layout should be consistent.

ARIS diagrams read from left to right, and are modelled in a BAU state sequentially following the function steps that comprise the overall process.

Software Re-harvesting process

Primary Objective:
  1. To ensure that only software used within a 90 day period remains on the IT estate (with the exception of certain ear-marked titles)
Secondary Objectives:
  1. To ensure that a QA check takes place to ensure that the process has been successful
  2. That where appropriate, Management approval takes place for the removal of software, if the software has a specialist status.
  1. The audit and reconciliation process takes place every 90 days
  2. Software Metering is available to support the Re-Harvesting process
  3. This process is supported by a policy that software not used after 90 days will be removed to re-cycle the software licence

Function Step Overview:

1.10 The SAM Manager takes the results of the audit and reconciliation process, and isolates installs of software that have not been used in over 90 days; dividing the list between those titles he can oversee, and those that need management approval for removal
1.20 For those titles The SAM Manager can order the removal for, the Apps Packaging Team schedules a removal time for those unused software titles
1.30 The Apps Packaging Team uninstalls the unused software
1.40 Line Management reviews the specialist unused software to decide whether it stays on those devices, or whether it is scheduled for removal
1.50 Line Management passes the specialist list to the App Packaging for those titles/installs  which can be removed, (and then feeds back to 1.30) and passes the Keep List to The SAM Manager
1.60 The Apps Packaging team produce a report to determine that the software they attempted to remove at Step 1.30 has actually been removed
1.70 Subject to receiving a verified removal report from the Apps Packaging Team, the SAM Manager will re-fresh the licence pool to determine how many extra licenses have been re-cycled, and make recommendations around any further purchases that might be required
1.80 The Apps Packaging Team have calculated that the software removal step did not work for certain installs; and so return to step 1.20 to re-schedule the removal of those installs at a later date

Image credit

Please note:  This is a template; and so certain factors such as Risks, Quality Assurance metrics or Systems used, have not been incorporated into the model.  Again, such work would typically be backed up by a Process Definition Document (PDD) and a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) so that the high-level overview offered by the functions steps is not lost in translation, or assumed to be known by key members of staff.

The process kit by Rory Canavan is available from

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