Optimize the Change Management Process

Respond to business needs faster, with fewer incidents and disruptions.

Last Revised: April 8, 2014


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Your Challenge

  • Infrastructure Managers and Change Managers are faced with:
    • Too many change related incidents
    • Slow change turnaround time
    • Too many unauthorized changes
    • Too many emergency changes
    • Difficulty accurately evaluating changes
  • ITIL provides a sound process for Change Management, but it can be difficult for IT departments with different capabilities and needs to adapt.
  • Stakeholders often resist Change Management because they see it as slow and bureaucratic.
  • Change requests are submitted by multiple stakeholders, making it difficult to prioritize the deployment of changes fairly.
  • Change requesters will categorize changes as “Emergency” in order to bypass the regular process, further delaying other changes.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • ITIL provides a good framework for Change Management, but the process is not appropriate for every change request. 
  • Many organizations are good at enforcing change control (rules and checks), but few establish successful Change Management that allows IT to successfully balance stakeholder need for new and enhanced functionality with the risk that changes pose to the Infrastructure.
  • If requestors feel that the process is bureaucratic and slow, they will either bypass it completely and apply unassessed and untested changes, or they will make “Emergency” change requests to ensure that the request is handled more quickly. 
  • A CAB must be empowered to approve and prioritize changes; they are the gatekeepers protecting the live environment from poorly applied changes. 

Impact and Result

  • Assess your current process maturity in order to identify critical gaps and prioritize improvement efforts.
  • Formalize three distinct processes for Change Management that match the impact and priority of the change.
  • Establish and maintain a successful CAB to effectively assess and approve changes.
  • Maximize the success of your Change Management process by developing a comprehensive Standard Operating Procedure.
  • Track and measure process improvement by monitoring Key Performance Indicators. 

Want to Participate in Our Research?

Analyst Interview:
Be recognized for your expertise! Participate in an expert interview with one of our analysts and we will showcase your contribution on our Info-Tech Client Hall Of Fame. Each interview lasts approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour and provides you with the opportunity to share your best practices, opinions, tools or templates with your peers.

Webinar:
These interactive sessions will feature a panel of 1-5 experts and practitioners. Our research analysts will explore the topic with the panel, asking questions, looking for insight, and offering many opportunities for audience members to ask questions of their own. The overall goal is not only to keep us focused on topics you want to tackle, but also to help us shape the solution in realistic and compelling ways.

Pilot Workshop:
We are offering free workshops to qualified clients to help us "road-test" our research in the real world. This allows us to make sure the topics resonate with our clients, the projects are realistic and compelling, and our deliverables meet the challenges of real-world implementations. Exact dates and client candidacy are determined during a scoping call with our analysts.

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See how all the steps you need to take come together, with tools and advice to help with each task on your list.

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Get to Action

Best Practices Toolkit

  1. Make the Case

    Realize the benefits of a more rigorous Change Management process.

  2. Assess the Current State

    Identify process gaps and prioritize process improvement efforts.

  3. Make and Recieve RFCs

    Define roles, change categories, and establish the parameters for Emergency, Normal, and Standard changes.

  4. Assess, Plan, and Test Changes

    Assess change impact and risk.

  5. Approve, Prioritize, and Schedule Changes

    Establish a Change Advisory Board and begin defining the change approval process.

  6. Deploy Changes

    Build and test the release before communicating changes and beginning the deployment.

  7. Create an Action Plan

    Create a roadmap for optimizing your Change Management process.

Guided Implementation

This guided implementation is a five call advisory process.

  • Call #1: Make the Case and Current State Assessment

    Get off to a productive start: Review the results of the Change Management Assessment Tool. Use the results to assess your current state and select the KPIs you will use to track project progress.

  • Call #2: Make and Receive Requests for Change

    Begin developing Standard Operating Procedures: Define the categories of change for your organization and create formal processes for each. Discuss an effective protocol for making and receiving requests for change.

  • Call #3: Assess, Plan, and Test Changes

    Formalize a protocol for properly assessing and testing changes: Discuss effective methods of assessing the impact and risk of changes, planning for changes, testing changes, and documenting the results for CAB review.

  • Call #4: Approve, Prioritize, Schedule, and Deploy Changes

    Formalize a change approval and deployment process: Discuss standards for approving changes in the CAB and prioritizing, scheduling, and deploying them in a way that ensures business needs are met and user disruption is minimized.

  • Call #5: Develop an Action Plan

    Define next steps: Discuss a roadmap for optimizing your Change Management process, and assess current progress by revisiting KPIs.

Onsite Workshops

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Onsite Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn’t enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our Project Workshops.

Onsite Expert Advice

Our expert analysts will come onsite to help you work through our project methodology in a 2-5 day workshop. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a road map in place to complete your project successfully. In some cases, we can even help you to complete the project while we are onsite!

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