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U.S. National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute

Change Management Mechanisms for SEER*DMS

The Change Control Board (CCB) is the SEER*DMS steering committee for change management. The CCB evaluates plans and proposals for all significant changes and enhancements to SEER*DMS, including the development of new features and changes to algorithms, database structure, and hardware infrastructure.

On a semi-monthly basis, a CCB meeting is conducted via teleconference. Participants include representatives from registries currently using SEER*DMS, registries that are either in transition or are considering a transition to SEER*DMS, members of the SEER*DMS development team, and NCI representatives. The CCB considers proposals submitted by registry, the development team, or NCI staff. The SEER*DMS development team works with registry and NCI staff to prioritize and schedule discussions for the proposals. Each month's agenda is reviewed by NCI staff and distributed to the full CCB 3 days before the meeting. Minutes are taken and posted to the portal after each meeting.

Typically, a registry submits a change request via the SEER*DMS issue tracking system. A detailed proposal based on the request is created by the SEER*DMS development team in collaboration with the requesting registry and NCI.

The review process for each proposal involves:

  • a presentation of the proposal including purpose, requirements, and technical considerations
  • each CCB registry
    • suggests modifications to the proposal.
    • determines whether or not the change is appropriate for their registry.
    • defines the registry settings for elements that are configurable.

The NCI would make the final decision in the event that the CCB members do not reach consensus on a proposal for a change that affects all registries. The SEER*DMS development team provides technical guidance to the NCI related to level of effort, timelines, and risk assessment.

CCB proposals related to minor changes and bug fixes are often handled without review in a CCB meeting. All issues submitted to the issue tracking system are evaluated by the SEER*DMS development team. CCB members are asked via email to review issues related to bugs and requests for minor changes. Each registry is asked to acknowledge that they read the issue and to submit comments related to requested changes.