Should a process change go to the CAB

By ITIL® from Experience ©

First let us review the 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

Although the definition clearly states that process modifications are changes, individuals or organizations operating in a technology-centric2 paradigm have a tendency to exclude process changes from going to the Change Advisory Board (CAB)3 since a device or a piece of code is not being changed.

However, the above definition does specify “…effect on IT services.” Here are examples of process changes impacting services.

Example 1

The Human Resources Department (HR) will now send an employee departure notice to the IT 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 aware that they will receive these notices to be able to prepare procedures to log and action these requests
  • A communiqué be sent out to all employees so that they do not report the reclaimed equipment has stolen
  • The process should include a task for the manager to decide if the desktop equipment should remain in place if a replacement employee will be hired within the next 30 days

Example 2

The Server Team will extend their server provisioning process by assigning completed requests to the Web Server Team so that they can install a web server if one is required. In this case the CAB can advise that:

  • The Model/Template used by the Requester be modified not only to capture the requirement of a web server but also to identify if a certificate is needed as well as to capture the Financial Code for charge back – two details that the Server Team did not know was required by the Web Server Team.
  • 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 them back to the Server Team.

In each of these examples the service is impacted and the CAB identified implementation details to ensure a smooth transition.

It is important to ensure that the CAB is capable of processing these types of changes. If the organization already has a technology-centric CAB, then new members may be needed to review process changes. In addition, the Change Manager may require additional skills as the role and responsibilities are changing. Together with instructing people to log process changes as Request For Change (RFC) a Model should be developed to enable Change Management to manage these changes.


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