Optimize the Change Management Process

Let your battle with change-related incidents begin!

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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.
  • Difficulty evaluating changes.


Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Stakeholders often resist Change Management because they see it as slow and bureaucratic.
  • ITIL provides a useable framework for Change Management, but full process rigor is not appropriate for every change request.
  • You need to design a process that is flexible enough to meet demand for change and strict enough to protect the live environment from change-related incidents.

Impact and Result

  • Pick your battles wisely: Assess current process success first to identify major gaps. You may not need to create the process from scratch.
  • Balance the needs of the stakeholder requesting the change with the risk that the change poses to the infrastructure.
  • Distinguish between Normal changes, Emergency changes, and Standard changes by establishing firm definitions and pre-defined workflows.
  • Empower a Change Manager and Change Advisory Board with the authority to approve and prioritize changes according to business need and risk.
  • Establish easy to follow intake, assessment, and approval processes, and ensure that there is visibility into changes across the organization.

Contributors

  • Wil Clark, Director, Information Technology Service Management, University of North Texas System
  • Abdollah Dehnashi, Senior Director Application Solutions and Shared Services, Davis and Henderson
  • DeWayne Kendall, Assistant Director of Technology Solutions, City of Durham
  • Michael Lee, Client Service Representative, LoyaltyOne
  • Glen Notman, Associate Partner, Citihub
  • Joseph Sgandurra, Director, Service Delivery Management and Excellence, Navantis
  • Steve Zemke, IT Director, Biomet Inc.

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Get to Action

  1. Set project foundations

    Understand Info-Tech’s Change Management Methodology and assess project fit.

  2. Design the Change Management standard operating procedure

    Create the change intake, assessment, test, and deployment processes.

  3. Implement the new Change Management process

    Obtain buy-in for, communicate the deployment of, and measure the success of the new Change Management process.

Guided Implementation

This guided implementation is an eight call advisory process.

    Guided Implementation #1 - Launch the project

  • Call #1: Assess project fit.

  • Call #2: Launch project.

  • Call #3: Design target state.

  • Guided Implementation #2 - Design the SOP

  • Call #1: Design intake process.

  • Call #2: Design assessment, plan, and test process.

  • Call #3: Establish a CAB.

  • Call #4: Design deployment and post-deployment process and complete SOP.

  • Guided Implementation #3 - Implement the SOP

  • Call #1: Deal with SOP implementation challenges and measure your success.

Onsite Workshop

Module 1: Introduce the Workshop

The Purpose

  • Identify pain points.
  • Define objectives and set expectations.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Ensure that all stakeholders understand why the change management process is being reviewed and potentially re-designed.
  • Understand the different challenges faced by IT stakeholders.

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Define workshop objectives.
  • Defined workshop objectives.
1.2 Introduce ITIL Service Management.
  • Understanding of Change Management.
1.3 Identify process challenges.
  • Defined process challenges.
1.4 Identify benefits of new process.
  • Defined benefits of new process.

Module 2: Design Target State

The Purpose

  • Assess current adherence to the Change Management Process.
  • Identify areas of the process that require the most significant improvement.
  • Design a best-practice process for Change Management to be implemented at the organization.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Motivate stakeholders to commit to improving the process by highlighting current shortcomings.
  • Focus workshop efforts on high priority areas.
  • Document a best practice process that all stakeholders agree upon and are willing to support.

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Perform a current state assessment.
  • Process areas in need of improvement and re-design identified.
2.2 Draw your ideal process.
  • A target state end-to-end process for change management documented.

Module 3: Make and Receive RFCs

The Purpose

  • Assign roles and responsibilities to the appropriate individuals.
  • Design a change intake process.
  • Define and categorize changes.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Gain a clearer understanding of change definitions and categories.
  • Match the level of process rigor to the type of change, to avoid wasting time.

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Define the Change Manager’s role.
  • Defined Change Manager role.
3.2 Assign roles and responsibilities.
  • Assigned roles and responsibilities.
3.3 Define a change.
  • Change definitions.
3.4 Design an RFC form.
  • RFC form to be used at the organization.
3.5 Categorize changes.
  • Change categories.
3.6 Map a process for each category of change.
  • A process for each category of change.

Module 4: Assess Changes

The Purpose

  • Standardize the approach to prioritizing changes.
  • Standardize the change assessment process.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Prioritize changes according to business need.
  • Mitigate the risk of infrastructure changes.

Activities: Outputs:
4.1 Determine the change priority.
  • A standard change prioritization process.
4.2 Assess the technical and SLA impact.
  • A standard change assessment process.
4.3 Determine the risk profile.
  • A standard change risk assessment approach.

Module 5: Plan and Test Changes

The Purpose

  • Identify the components of a release plan and assign responsibility for each.
  • Decide how all required types of change testing will be conducted.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Ensure that release are properly planned for.
  • Ensure that changes are sufficiently tested before the CAB reviews requests.

Activities: Outputs:
5.1 Create a release plan.
  • A standard release planning approach.
5.2 Create a test plan.
  • A standard testing approach.

Module 6: Approve Changes

The Purpose

  • Ensure that both the business and IT are well represented on the CAB.
  • Document inputs for the CAB Charter.
  • Establish a standard approach for CAB meetings and activities.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Establish a CAB to successfully and effectively approve, prioritize, and schedule changes.
  • Establish best-practice CAB protocols to ensure that meetings run smoothly and effectively.

Activities: Outputs:
6.1 Identify CAB members.
  • Identified CAB members.
6.2 Determine CAB authority and responsibility.
  • CAB authority and responsibility.
6.3 Set CAB review and voting standards.
  • CAB review and voting standards.
6.4 Know when to reject a change.
  • Standard change approval approach.

Module 7: Prioritize and Schedule Changes

The Purpose

  • Decide how the CAB will prioritize and schedule releases.
  • Formalize a process for responding to emergency change request.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Fairly prioritize releases in a manner that satisfies business need and minimizes user disruption.
  • Minimize conflict and disruption by scheduling releases more effectively.
  • Ensure that emergency change requests are still subject to formal approval and assessment.

Activities: Outputs:
7.1 Set prioritization and scheduling standards.
  • Change prioritization and scheduling standards.
7.2 Set emergency CAB protocol.
  • Emergency CAB protocol.

Module 8: Deploy Changes and Build Action Plan

The Purpose

  • Decide how changes will be communicated to users and staff.
  • Decide what to include in the post-implementation review.
  • Decide how you will assess the success of your new Change Management process.
  • Finalize a plan for implementing your new process.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Reduce user and help desk disruption by effectively communicating changes.
  • Introduce a template that can be used to review releases and identify issues with the change management process as soon as they arise.
  • Monitor process success to drive continuous improvement.
  • Successfully implement your new Change Management process.

Activities: Outputs:
8.1 Create a communication plan.
  • Change communication standards.
8.2 Decide what to include in the post-implementation review.
  • Post-implementation review template.
8.3 Track metrics.
  • Process success metrics.
8.4 Create an action plan.
  • Action plan for implementing the new Change Management plan.

Book Your Workshop

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. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a road map in place to complete your project successfully.

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