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Online Change Approvals
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ChangeOfficer
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Joined: Jan 27, 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:41 am    Post subject: Online Change Approvals Reply with quote

Currently using online approvals for minor and urgent changes and in-person CAB meeting for approval of significant/major changes.

Would like to add online approvals in addition to the CAB review for sig/major to increase auditibility and accountability. Facing cultural resistance.

Anyone requiring online approvals in addition to their CAB review?
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DYbeach
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Joined: May 25, 2008
Posts: 413
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

on line approvals for everything.
By urgent changes, do you mean emergency changes? Do you have a CAB / EC?
All changes should be on the CAB schedule imnsho, but the level of scrutiny will vary depending on risk, impact etc
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UKVIKING
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Joined: Sep 16, 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well

If you have a tool to track approvals and register the approvals, this would be considered online

If you have a meeting where some one has to sign a document that they approved, then this is off line

If you then take the signed document and scan and attach it to the tool record then it is an online offline or is it offline online or on-off line or off-on line

Use the following sentance as your guide

WHAT DOES YOUR OWN CHANGE MANAGEMENT POLICY DOCUMENT DEFINE AS THE ACCEPTABLE METHOD FOR APPROVING AND WHEN TO APPROVE

Anything else is point less and specious
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Change Management is POWER & CONTROL. /....evil laughter
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mnsmith
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Joined: Mar 31, 2008
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Location: North West England

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello

I use online approvals for minor and significant changes, so that the CAB can review the changes in their own time and I don't have to try to get a dynamic group of people into a room each week.

I used to use online approvals for emergency changes but I found it didn't work. One of the criteria for emergency change is the requirement to get it done quickly and I found that although the emergency CAB members verbally said yes, it took too mcuh time and chasing to get them to click the approve button in the online tool. I therefore changed it to accept the verbal approval but to keep the accountability, the tool automatically sends the emergency CAB an e-mail to inform them that they have approved this change and that they should shout if they didn't.

As for major changes, physical meetings are required because (by their nature) discussion need to take place before approval is granted. The meeting is minuted and then this is added to the change request as I (the change manager) approves (or rejects) the change. My CAB wouldn't be happy if, after approving the change in a formal meeting, they then had to all go and log on and click and approve button. It's a waste of time and resources.

Hope that helps

Mick
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DYbeach
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

so long as approvals for emergency changes are trackable / auditable.
Because............................................................
people "forget" what they have said, and if you get caught making that same mistake more than once, then the pasting you will get is well deserved Twisted Evil
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Diarmid
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Joined: Mar 04, 2008
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Location: Newcastle-under-Lyme

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm confused by this question.

But John clearly is not confused.

On-line, off-line any-old-line.

The point of approval is to have had all the necessary scrutiny, investigation and discussion required to minimise the risk from the change and maximise the prospect and quantity of benefit from it.

If that is done by people clicking boxes in a computer system, after flagging up concerns, phoning, emailing, texting, meeting at the coffee shop. one another as necessary and documenting all the pertinent information, then fine.

If it is done by having a meeting with prepared documents, presentations and fully minuted, then fine.

The issue is the quality of the process, not the medium. Meet the requirements of Change Management as defined in and for your organization. If you are able to manage on-line, off-line and a mixture of the two equally then you have the luxury of choosing the most cost effective scenario every time.

If your organization is geographically dispersed then it would be particularly useful to have a mature process that does not always require meetings of more than minds.
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LizGallacher
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Use the following sentance as your guide

WHAT DOES YOUR OWN CHANGE MANAGEMENT POLICY DOCUMENT DEFINE AS THE ACCEPTABLE METHOD FOR APPROVING AND WHEN TO APPROVE

Anything else is point less and specious"

I believe that ChangeOfficer id trying to improve the Policy, perhaps by making it clearer. To do this is part of CSI, and not specious.
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UKVIKING
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Joined: Sep 16, 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Liz

You arr right. I sit corrected. If I stood, I could not type

I should have added...

THE CM POLICY SHOULD ALWAYS BE REVIEWED AS PART OF CONTINUED SERVICE IMPROVEMENT

before the specious and pointless point
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Diarmid
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ouch!
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ChangeOfficer
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John,
Point of the question was to get input as to how other organizations track approvals and understand what challenges/benefits are encountered so one can take those into account when forming or improving upon process in their own organization.

Sort of the point of having a forum I would think or else we could just shut this down and auto-respond to every question with "Refer to your documented process".


For other interested responders, to clarify my question. We would still have the CAB meeting to review changes but the proposed idea is to add a layer of an online approval in addition to the meeting discussion.

Would be interested to know if anyone who has a CAB and an online change mangement system is using this approach and if so if it has added any additional accountability or auditability in the approval process.

Thanks.
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UKVIKING
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChangeOfficer

The question itself is valid in itself; but, you shuold not use what other companies do dictate what your company does in regards to gathering / recording and auditing approvals for your CM Process and procedures.

As each company is different, the only answer that ever can be given is ... It depends.

The first thing you should do is use what your CM Policy document says. Some companys... shocking as it is... have no defined policy and merely depend on the tool itself to act as the defact / de jeur policy.

Also, how other companies track / record / audit approvals also depends on whether the company, its processes etc are subject to Sarbanes Oxley or ISO 20000 certification

If a company / area responsible is small enough, the standards for approvals can be as varied as you wish

There is a delicate balance between appropriate bureauracy and unneeded red tape for change management to ensure that those changes that require an approval have the approval and that the approval can be tracked and audited and controlled. This of course depends on how the company sets its own guideliness / standards in its policy document on which changes require approval and by whom and the types of approvals as well

All these should be driven from the CM policy documentation set.

that being said, I have worked in 6 different IT orgs as a change manager and here is how they require CM approval
/ CAB Meeting / Approvals
contracted business for the government,
physical meeting, minutes and emails // final sign off from Director

/ virtual meeting, minutes and the ticket systems and emails
larger ISP / physical and virtual meeting and tool filter, Subject matter owners online approval and emails for emergencys (telephonic for out of hours followed by email)

/ virtual (telephonic) amnd tool, minutes and email / verbal approvals from mtg

/ virtual / physical / minutes / customer and vendor approvals - emailed and minuted / tool was separate and did not allow approval records as specific

/ physical and telephone, minutes, emails and ticket system


So as you see, the requirements for approvals differed in each of the company I worked for as the change manager. And as I was the one who wrote / updated / CSI'd the CM Policy, I changed it to best fit the company structure

As for your recommendation to shut down this forum.. ..........

When you post a question as you did w/o sufficient information in support, you can get the gamut of responses. I was not insulting nor attacking you personally. I merely pointed out that what your company should do should be based on what your own documented processes state they should be.

While the forum exists here to assist you in helping you deal with things at .. hopefully work... the ultimate responsibility and decision making is yours. Using this highly regarded / topic specific web site and forum as the basis for making what is clearly a Change Management or Management decision is well... quite silly in my view

The forum exists to give you advice based on what we read and what we dont read in your posts. We use the information that we see and use our own analysis or lack thereof and make the reply to the post.

We also support each other and tell each other when we err as noted by Liz's remark about my assumptions. Please note she did not disagree with me but merely pointed out the obvious but assumed information that you were in the midst of a CSI

So if you dont particularly care for a post, my response is .... and .....

in addition to coin blackadder

Am i paying for the abuse or it is free

neither .. it is part of the service

and welcome to the forum
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changeborg
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Joined: Jul 15, 2009
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Location: United States

PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We use a multi-tiered approach to our approvals as within our organization, we require several layers of approvals for all changes.
1. Business Approval. The customer is required to approve every change to the services we provide to them. It is up to the person planning the change to obtain this either verbally or in writing (email).
2. Technical Approval. Our ticketing system has a ‘voting’ feature that is invoked when the owner of the change states they are ready for approval. Each of our functional groups has voting delegates assigned who will review the change for content, QA, etc.
3. CAB Approval. Changes of a moderate impact/risk and above come to change management for final approvals. We don’t take every change to the CAB however, only those that impact an entire regional area.

Our CAB is also run mostly virtual. As a result of cost cutting, management felt it necessary to cut down on physical meetings. To accomplish this, we utilize our internal company blog which has a voting feature to manage the CAB. We post all the details of the changes up for approval and then email everyone in the CAB to go review and vote and they are given a deadline. They have a full business day to do this step. Once the virtual CAB has been completed and the end of day, the change team reviews the results and either approves or rejects.

We have received mixed feedback on this method. Personally I prefer the physical meetings as do many due to the level of discussions on a change the subsequent discussions relating to it that otherwise would not come out in the virtual world. We also do run a single physical CAB each month so we can get some of this discussion back and add a bit more rigor that simply cannot be added in on the virtual world.
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SubbuA
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:38 am    Post subject: Online Approval Reply with quote

We use a weekly CAB. But online approval - No Approval by Vote (email option) is also avaiable just in case - CAB meeting is not cancelled for the week for any reason.

Voting approval takes the majorities vote as primary unless and untill the person voting for the minority dicision has a very strong valid point to overrule the majorities call
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ChangeOfficer
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Joined: Jan 27, 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mnsmith wrote:
Hello

I use online approvals for minor and significant changes, so that the CAB can review the changes in their own time and I don't have to try to get a dynamic group of people into a room each week.

I used to use online approvals for emergency changes but I found it didn't work. One of the criteria for emergency change is the requirement to get it done quickly and I found that although the emergency CAB members verbally said yes, it took too mcuh time and chasing to get them to click the approve button in the online tool. I therefore changed it to accept the verbal approval but to keep the accountability, the tool automatically sends the emergency CAB an e-mail to inform them that they have approved this change and that they should shout if they didn't.

As for major changes, physical meetings are required because (by their nature) discussion need to take place before approval is granted. The meeting is minuted and then this is added to the change request as I (the change manager) approves (or rejects) the change. My CAB wouldn't be happy if, after approving the change in a formal meeting, they then had to all go and log on and click and approve button. It's a waste of time and resources.

Hope that helps

Mick


Thanks, the scenarios you outline here are in-line with some of the concerns I have as I decide whether to make this process change.
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UKVIKING
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Joined: Sep 16, 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CO

Good.What about the resistance to change.. ha ha... we are the change managers.. resistance is futile......

That is what the trigger was for me.

If people are resistance to change, there is usually no policy document diktating that they must change.

That is why I said policy document

The other issue about e-approvals is the abiltiy to track them.

If your tool can do that relatively easy, then e-approvals for major changes should be fine.

Please note for emergencies, I use the email option linked to phone calls. I approve verbally if called but follow up immediately with email

I also use a PDF writer program to create the PDF for the email as copying text into a field can sometimes not be tracked so if an email is used to populate a notes field that is editable. An evil person like me can make trouble.. evil laugh
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