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ITIL :: View topic - Change Freeze's - Who Runs the Show?
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Change Freeze's - Who Runs the Show?

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Joined: Jan 11, 2007
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:01 pm    Post subject: Change Freeze's - Who Runs the Show? Reply with quote


Firstly, hello to all. This is my first post - may it be the first of many Smile

Ok, Change Freezes.. Presently, within my organistaion, we're having a minor dispute as to who should manage a change freeze when it has been called. Here's a bit of background about the situation to help you understand what's happening:

The majority of change freezes are requested by our Disaster Recovery team. They will perform a DR test at one of our datacentres that will affect roughly 10% of the Applications that run from that particular site. Historically, a site or regional freeze is called, which obviously means all applications and services from this location need to policed.

This is done via an exception process, which we (the Change Management team) believe the DR test team should manage. It is their work and they understand what should and shouldn't be allowed to happen.

The simple answer to us was to create an approval group for the DR test team and ensure it is required on any Change Requests filed at the time and location around the planned freeze. This means that the DR test team can manage their exception process.

Unfortunately, they have not reacted well to this, due to the increased intensity of work as CR's are submitted during the freeze window. The last few days before the freeze itself are exceptionally busy.

Ideally, I would be interested to know if ITIL has any standard process for handling change freezes, especially ones of this nature. We are of the opinion "if you call the freeze, you manage it", though I would like to know if ITIL agrees with us.. Wink

Any thoughts?


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Joined: Aug 17, 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


I also posted a similar request in regards to Change Freezes. We are in the process of implementing a process but do not kow where to begin. Do you have any ideas ro will you be able to point me in the right direction.


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Senior Itiler

Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 3597
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is the purpose of the freeze ?

Is it a corporate level or a specific service (application) or an environment

Before you can devise a Change freeze policy & then the process; you need change mgmt policy defined as well as what group(s) provide governance

If group 1 wants a freeze for a period, then they should raise a change request - seriously - and it should go to the Operational level Chaneg Advisory Board to be discussed and then passed up the mgmt chain so that senior people can get informed. Also so the change freeze details can be broadcast out as well

When a XMas Holiday change freeze was implemented in my last organization, it started being discusssed in September/October.

It went through the change process like any other change because it did affect service
John Hardesty
ITSM Manager's Certificate (Red Badge)

Change Management is POWER & CONTROL. /....evil laughter
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Joined: Feb 12, 2007
Posts: 27
Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, my first post too...

It depends how you are set up in your organization. We have full-on change freezes that are managed through our area. These are generally business-driven. We also have change restrictions, also generally business-driven. We also manage these through our normal CAB process, offering extra scrutiny for any changes.

If a particular technology group wants to impose a change freeze for an application or area, then that is something we support but do not typically manage. In our Change Mgmt tool, that group would typically be sure to add themselves as an approver on all changes scheduled and nothing would be able to go in without their approval. They would also be responsible for the communication.
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Joined: Apr 17, 2007
Posts: 36
Location: Cape Town

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no specific process in ITIL (that I know of) for freezes because a change freeze for a service is just a change request (CR) like any other.

That said it is a problematic CR to handle because it effectively puts a stop to all other changes related to the service. Do you no longer accept requests when a freeze is in effect, or do you still capture requests but mark them as on hold?

Who requests a freeze is irrelevant as this will be different in different environments. The point is that it is taken into the change management process, and accepted or rejected based on the usual assessment process.

...Presently, within my organistaion, we're having a minor dispute as to who should manage a change freeze when it has been called.

If you accept that a freeze is a CR like any other, then who manages it should already be defined in your CM process. The CM organisation manages the workflow, and the decisions are made by the responsible parties (e.g. in this case the service manager and DR in consultation with the customer).

And by extension, the process to 'unfreeze' (defrost?) changes should be initiated via another change request. This means you have a full audit trail.

I think you need to define a process to deal with change freezes that becomes a standard part of your Change management. Your idea of making DR a required approval is perfectly reasonable (and stops them just chucking freezes over the fence for you to deal with;-). You might also create a freeze flag per service, and automatically put any changes related to the service on hold until the flag is removed (via another CR).

What you do will also be driven to a large extent by how your tooling deals with freezes.

Finally there are different types of freeze. Functionality might be frozen, i.e. the service will not change, but moves/adds/changes will still be allowed. All of these scenarios need to be incorporated into the CM process.

Hope this helps,

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Senior Itiler

Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 3597
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good detail Dave

you are correct

The last company I worked for had a 8 week freeze for XMAS however, it was staggered

And it was up to the Change Manager and the senior mgmt whether or not a change was implemented during the freeze

a lot of the freeze dealt with trying to rush projects through during the holidays - when the staff is low because the PMs have not planned properly

It was great fun llistening to a PM sputter when you say.. Do you know about the change freeze when it came out in october.... they say yes

change manager says so what part of no do you not understand... this is not an existing service there are no customers is merely because you forgot to plan / schedule this work ....this work does not meet the criteria for violating the freeze....PM says... but it is insert name's pet project....change manager says... And ? he answers to name drop ? right so Name drop set the policy... insert name can go ask him... but.....

dead silence

evil laugh from change manager (me)
John Hardesty
ITSM Manager's Certificate (Red Badge)

Change Management is POWER & CONTROL. /....evil laughter
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