Should a process change go to the CAB

By ITIL® from Experience ©

First, let us review the ITIL® definition of a change:

“The addition, modification or removal of anything that could have an effect on IT services. The scope should include changes to all architectures, processes, tools, metrics and documentation, as well as changes to IT services and other configuration items.”1 (See What is a change).

Although the definition clearly states that process modifications are changes, people operating in a technology-centric2 paradigm have a tendency to exclude process changes from going to the Change Advisory Board (CAB). However, process changes can definitely have an “…effect on IT services.”

Let’s take two examples to highlight be benefit of sending process changes to the CAB for review.

Example 1
The Human Resources Department (HR) wants to send an employee departure notice to the Service Desk so that IT can reclaim mobile devices and return the desktop computer from the vacant office to the hardware store so that it can be reused before its end-of-life. In this case CAB members can advise that:

  • The Service Desk must be engaged to ensure that the ITSM tool has a category to enable them to log the requests and that they have a procedure to action these requests (See How to come up with categories for our service requests).
  • A communiqué needs to be sent out to all employees so that they do not report stolen equipment when they no longer see it at a former colleague’s office.
  • The process should include a task for the manager to decide if the desktop equipment must remain in place because a replacement will be hired within 30 days.

Example 2
The Server Team wants to extend the server provisioning process by including the Web Server Team to it so that they can install a web server if one is required. In this case the CAB can advise that:

  • The Model/Template needs to be modified to capture if certificates are required as well as the Financial Code for charge back – two details that the Server Team did not know that the Web Server Team needed.
  • Ensure that people know how to look up their financial code or know who they need to contact in Finance to get it.
  • The Web Server Team must be informed of the modified procedure whereby they must close the request instead of re-assigning it back to the Server Team.

In these examples, a simple process change impacts the ability of the provisioning team to provide the service. Moreover, the CAB identified implementation details to ensure a smooth transition and a successful change.

It is important to ensure that the CAB is capable of handling process changes. If the organization already has a technology-centric CAB, then new members with a different skill set may be needed to properly assess process changes. Similarly, the Change Manager may also require new skills as the role and responsibilities are changing (see What are the skills of a change manager).

Providing people instructions how to log Request For Change (RFC) for process changes should also be communicated (see We need a simple Communication Plan that will be actioned).

Last updated on: 2018-02-14
Published on: 2014-01-18

"Not clearly defining the mandate of the CAB can result in wasted effort as business decisions are second guessed. The tail is wagging the dog."

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