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Roles in Change Management

 
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dgasparac
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:29 pm    Post subject: Roles in Change Management Reply with quote

Hi all,

although on paper everything looks pretty clear, I anyway struggled a litle defining real roles in Change Management process.

So, questions:
1. Change Manager
- is this a person who is responsible for change through the whole process?
- if yes, I guess that role of change manager should be given to someone who is very familiar with the service (i.e. I'm in mobile operator's industry, there are a lot of services we are offering to the custommers and we have defined role "service manager" who is in operations departments and has an overview end2end over service) - is "service manager" suitabble for such a thing?
- if yes, also, this is fine for the changes on existing services, but what with new services? Who should be change manager for implementation of new service?
2. Change Owner
- person responsible for development (and implementation?) of change - so this will be someone from the department in which the change will be developed (i.e. IT) and who will be what... like project manager for this change (if big enough)?
- if there is some development needed in more than one department - can there be more change owners?
3. Release manager
- from logical point of view, this coud be change owner also, but as far as I know, SOX defines that change developer and implementator can't be phisicaly the same person - then what (if the company is not big enough to have dedicated roles)?
4. Who is responsible for organizing CAB meetings? Who takes care about CAB anyway... should this be someone who at leaset chairs the meetings?

I know that some parts of this questions were already answered, but am trying to summarize somehow.
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Ziad
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,
These are lot of Roles for the Change Management process, aren't they.

Change Manager:
- He is responsible for planning and supervising the implementation of changes.
- He chairs the Change Advisory Board
- Own the change Management PROCESS (process improvement)

Change Owner:
- That's a new concept for me, I know we have a process owner that can usually be the change manager. In complex organization, there may be a need to have CHANGE COORDINATORS to assist the Change Manager in the planning and supervision of the implementation of changes.

- Release Manager
This guy comes from elsewhere Wink All changes are planned by the Change Manager but the remote hands that will do the implementation is the Reslease Management process. The Release Manager is responsible for putting a release plan (build, test, rollback, rollout/implementation) that they will implement under the supervision of Change Management who will take over for a Post Implementation Review once the implementation is complete.
This role is NOT part of Change Management.

- As stated earlier, teh Change Manager chairs the CAB, and calls for urgent meeting for the Emergency Committee when urgent changes are requested.

CAB Members
Those play a very important role in Change Management, they vary upon the nature/classification of the change as done per the change manager (so he will decide to which category the change belongs and invites the corresponding people to a CAB meeting).

Regards,
Z!
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Ed
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Location: Coventry, England

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi dgasparac

a couple of points from someone who does the job.

The whole point of the CAB is to bring together the people who know about the details of a Change - This means that effectively the Change Manager does NOT have to know all the technical bits surrounding a Change.

I, as Change Manager (the only one for our company), cannot possibly know all about Oracle, SQL Server, C++, Unix, Cobol,Java,etc so I use my CAB to inform me on the technicalities. I then make decisions based on the information, I am given, using my own experience and common sense.

New Services put into place will be supported by existing technicians, as no company/department should ever offer a service that it cannot support.

I am not clear on SOX , but do take issue with the staement you are ascribing to it that the Change developer cannot be the implementer of the Change. In some ways this is actually the best scenario as the person who developed it, will know all about it. I would agree that the developer should not be the tester of the Change as no-one wants to test their own creation to destrucrtion.

The Release manager can be, and frequently is, the same person as the Change Manager - this makes sense in a smaller organisation

The Change Manager should not, in my opinion, be the service manager, as he/she, would have split loyalties.

Regards

Ed
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dgasparac
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ziad,

thanks for the answers, but I have some additional questions...

Ziad wrote:

Change Manager:
- He is responsible for planning and supervising the implementation of changes.
- He chairs the Change Advisory Board
- Own the change Management PROCESS (process improvement)

Here you mentioned that Change manager is responsible for implementation, but below that "but the remote hands that will do the implementation is the Reslease Management process" - as far as I know, implementation itself is in domain of release management, so it isn't a responsibility of Change manager(?)

Additionally, if change manager is the one that owns the process for process improvement issues, than he/she should be technically familiar also with all phases of planning process, right? But, what in case we are talking about mobile telecom operator: you don't have a person with so wide technical knowledge to cover planning changes in IT, radio, telecom and transmission infrastructure -> so you have to have more change managers, at least one per tech. area. But, in other hand, changes in all that areas are not so often that change manager could do only that, so it will be a role for some person in addition to other duties.

So, my question is here: if we don't want to increase headcount: who is most appropriate person to take change management role in addition (and is it really something in adddition or it embeds some other roles or functions)?

Ziad wrote:

Change Owner:
- That's a new concept for me, I know we have a process owner that can usually be the change manager. In complex organization, there may be a need to have CHANGE COORDINATORS to assist the Change Manager in the planning and supervision of the implementation of changes.

By ITIL, process owner is nominated by change manager to actually supervise the planning and development of the change itself. So, this should be someone who has detailed technical knowledge to actually develop, or lead development of change (if we are talking about IT, i.e.). So, by definition, it's the same as change coordinator in your organization, just different wording.
But, question is, when we are talking about some complex changes, can one change have more than one owners/coordinators?

Ziad wrote:

- Release Manager
This guy comes from elsewhere Wink All changes are planned by the Change Manager but the remote hands that will do the implementation is the Reslease Management process. The Release Manager is responsible for putting a release plan (build, test, rollback, rollout/implementation) that they will implement under the supervision of Change Management who will take over for a Post Implementation Review once the implementation is complete.
This role is NOT part of Change Management.

OK, what is then a clear distinguish between changer owner/coordinator and release manager? Is release manager more in line with SOX reauirement that the person who developed a change (on development/test environment) can't be the same person who implements, or leads implementation of change in production environment?

Additionally, since only input for release management and only exit from release management is change management (release management is embeded into change management), I guess that we can say that this is the part of change management anyway, only that it has separate responsibles for that part of the process.

Ziad wrote:

CAB Members
Those play a very important role in Change Management, they vary upon the nature/classification of the change as done per the change manager (so he will decide to which category the change belongs and invites the corresponding people to a CAB meeting).


CAB should be able to weight and authorize the change, which is sometimes contradictory: the ones whe are alowed to authorize (department heads, directors - if change has financial impact), are in most of the cases without deep enough knowledge to weight the change - so they'll need someone to "prepare" facts fro them - technicians. In other hands, technicians can't authorize changes with higher financial impact (or resources).

So, what's the bertter way, to have technicians in the CAB and directors "on hold" only for escallation when their "signature" is needed, or vice versa: to have directors in the CAB, and technicans "on hold" if some evaluation is needed.

From efficiency point of view, I'm more in favor of first option.

Anyway, what are experiences of the people working for international comapnies with need for evaluation/authorization from more than one company? What if companycovers more tecnology areas that are tightly connected to each other, but without persons who can cover with knowledge the whole technology area?

Thanks!
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Ziad
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was a long one, anyway here are my thoughts.

1- I will re-quote myself: the change manager "is responsible for planning and supervising the implementation of changes". I can understand why you misunderstood me, I should have said: the change manager is responsible for planning the change and supervising its implementation.

So the Change Manager only supervises the implementation of changes while actually the implementation is part of Release Management activities.

2- A tough one...
A process from my point of view is not a technical thing so the technical knowledge of a process manager is not the key. BUT procedures within the process are TOO technical and they are actually provided by the various technical teams as required by the process. The process owner responsibility is to make sure that these procedures are validated and confirm their output before including them in the process.

I think PMO staff is most suitable to handle Change Management.

3- I shall say
Change = Project
Complex Change = Project with complex tasks & complex task = small/sub project

then why not, a complex change having a main owner and various coordinators or sub-owners is if I may call them so.


4- Too short:
Change Management = Coordination, Supervision
Release Management = Implementation

I don't know a lot about SOX, I should do some readings before being able to answer you, and honestly the time is wrong (apologies) since I will sit my Service Manager exam after tomorrow and due to my daily activities I found myself doing a last week review. I forgot a lot of things already Wink

5- What is sure is that the change management activities are halted until release managers complete their activities. If you want to call it embedded, you can do so. I'd rather define a relationship rather than a merger.

Change Mgt activities (log and filter, prioritize, categorize, approve, schedule) -> Release Mgt Activities (policy, release plan, build & configure, test, acceptance, rollout plan, communication-preparation-training, implementation) -> Change Mgt Post Implementation Review.


6- I wouldn't include any director in the CAB, I would rather keep it at mid-executive level such as managers. People like Operations Managers or Support Managers have direct manage/managed relationship with network and system people for example and can get them involved whenever required.
Besides, your second option is for sure a very good one.


7- Regarding your last question, I unfortunately do not have an answer. I guess that once I'll be able to answer it, I'll be working elsewhere Wink



Thanks a lot,
Z!
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fighter
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Joined: Mar 15, 2006
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Location: Thailand

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dgasparac,

Change Manager:The Change Manager is primary responsible for the overall quality of the Change Management process. He/she is the main coordinator within this process and is the focal point regarding changes for both the customer- and the IT organization.

Change Owner:The Change Management Process Owner is the sponsor of Change Management process, and has the responsibility and authority for the overall process results.

Release Manager: The Release Manager (RMM) is primary responsible for the overall quality of the Release Management process. He/she is the main coordinator within this process and is the focal point regarding releases for both the customer

CAB Members: Please Refer to Ziad's post.

PS: The change manager has to be aware of the process required for the change and it is not mandatory to know all the technical skills.. Hence you dont need your technical expertes to be the change manager(s)

The details such as the Test results, Backout Plan, should be provided to the change manager.

Your Service Manager will not be suitable for the position of change manager. The change manager shall be a senior guy within the technical group who has considerable command and influence over the technical team(s).

The New Service will be requested by the Service Managers as per need of the customer or the business in your case.

The service will be requested to the Change Management who will over see the proper implementation of the new service.

Note your release manager does not necessarily have to be a project manager for your new release. It all boils down to the size of your organisation. If your organisation is small your release manager can double up as the project manager for new releases.

Hope this helps!!

Vimzie
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dgasparac
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ed wrote:

a couple of points from someone who does the job.


Hi Ed,

thanks for comments. For better understanding, can I ask few more detailed questions:
1. Which service provides your company?
2. How big is the company (employees, and are all of them on same location / is your HW on same location)?
3. You stated that you make decission after you get information from techies - so you are the only one authorizing all RFC's or there is also some escallation mechanism for more complex changes?
4. What is your hierarchical position within the company? Do you own a team or you are one-man-band?

Thanks!
D.
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dgasparac
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ziad,

thanks for comments. Well, yes, the list of questions always progress when few "unexpected" answers arrive and ofer another viewpoint. Smile

Anyway, few more questions...

Ziad wrote:

I think PMO staff is most suitable to handle Change Management.

3- I shall say
Change = Project
Complex Change = Project with complex tasks & complex task = small/sub project

then why not, a complex change having a main owner and various coordinators or sub-owners is if I may call them so.


OK, this is OK for some bigger changes (and from your answer I can conclude that you are from development side, right?), but what about smaller changes, i.e. regular updates, fixex, problem solving solutions...? So, changes from operational perspective. They shouldn't be a project, and there are many of them (i.e. in only one company in the group, there is CAB meeting scheduled once a week, and there are about 10-20 changes to discuss every time). Operations related changes are very seldom for projects, and they are time consuming.


Ziad wrote:

...I will sit my Service Manager exam after tomorrow and due to my daily activities I found myself doing a last week review. I forgot a lot of things already Wink

Good luck and I hope you will not read my post before you pass the test tomorrow. I don't want to be responsible for your not having time to concentrate. Very Happy

Ziad wrote:

6- I wouldn't include any director in the CAB, I would rather keep it at mid-executive level such as managers. People like Operations Managers or Support Managers have direct manage/managed relationship with network and system people for example and can get them involved whenever required.
Besides, your second option is for sure a very good one.

Well, under "directors" I ment also on Operations Managers or Support Managers... about how big organizations we are talking about? If tech sector is under 200 people all together, than this level is OK for CAB, actually perfect. But in my case we have 4 operators in 4 countries, and tech sectors are from 50-1000 people -> so Operations manager in one has 5 people and in biggest about 100, so theż are not at the same level and therefore their expertise level is for sure not the same.
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Ed
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi dgasparac

1) we are a Solutions Provider in the Retail sector (Private Company) - we provide hosting at 3 sites in the UK - we also provide software for all points of the retail process from warehouse control to point of sale. we also provide Operations Staff to run the processes - also support for them out of hours.

2) We are not massive - approx 400 employees in this county - not sure how many in the States, but think it is about 200. Both Countries have multiple sites - in the uk it is four locations + customer sites + two remote Data Centres.

3) Yes it is all my responsibility

4)I am Change and Configuration Management Team Leader is my title with only my Manager between me and the directors.

Regards

Ed
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dgasparac
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ed wrote:
Hi dgasparac

1) we are a Solutions Provider in the Retail sector (Private Company) - we provide hosting at 3 sites in the UK - we also provide software for all points of the retail process from warehouse control to point of sale. we also provide Operations Staff to run the processes - also support for them out of hours.

2) We are not massive - approx 400 employees in this county - not sure how many in the States, but think it is about 200. Both Countries have multiple sites - in the uk it is four locations + customer sites + two remote Data Centres.

3) Yes it is all my responsibility

4)I am Change and Configuration Management Team Leader is my title with only my Manager between me and the directors.

Regards

Ed


Hi Ed,

your work very good matches what I'm doing now, just jour scope is smaller... so I would kindly ask for few more details.

When we are talking about hosting - how does operational part of change management looks like? I.e. do you have some big business custommers who are somehow included into decission making chain, or you solved this with SLA?

Regarding planning (long run), what is your position in that? I.e. do you have something like anual activity planning and all actions planned that way (i.e. new products/services delivery) are automatically somehow preauthorized changes...?

What types of changes do you have (classificarion) and how are they defined?

The dilema I have is that my "group" consist of 4 mobile operators, we have some services hosted (not all in the same company, but distributed) and now the question is who should be empovered to authorize some changes when they can tackle other companies - should there be a representative from each company, or to empower one person in hosting company to do it? Also, how to handle request from some update from non-hosting company which could alse affect others? Your system when tehere is only one responsible person looks great, but in our case I'm not sure it could work because many reasons (i.e. marketing departments will jump immediately if they will have no chance to influence some decissions).


Thanks,
D.
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Ed
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi D

we have a mix of solutions - depends on the customer when talking hosting.

Mainly, we have customer account managers who approve changes on behalf of their clients - these people work for my company, but are responsible for being the interface between the two companies. In certain circumstances the Client will insist that they authorise Significant or Major Changes. This means that effectively they become part of my CAB for that Change only.

Long term planning is handled by the Project management team as all our long term jobs are Projects - very few jobs are solely for the company's benefit.

As I tried to explain before - If a new service is introduced, then we already have the technicians on board before we quote for such work - we do not put services into place that we cannot support - that is commercial suicide.

I follow the ITIL model

Basic Change - ad-hoc change activity - one-off change

Standard Change - Repeatable Change that can be proceduralised i.e. the steps are the same each time, and therefore the risks can be understood and quantified easily.

Emergency Change - Service is down and item needs fixing! We ensure that this is not used as a shortcut by lazy project managers.

I use The ITIL categorisation

Minor - Significant - Major

I use the ITIL priorities

Low - Medium - High - Urgent

Now your dilemma

As I have stated above, we use our Customer Account managers as the client company's representative in my CAB. If the client needs to authorise a given Change, this is done with an e-Mail from the nominated person within the Client Company. we do not expect Client employees to attend our premises.

If a Request For Change crosses over into more than one client, e.g. any power/air-con issues, then all the appropriate Customer Account Managers would be asked to sign-off the Change. We insist on penty of notification for these Changes.

I would involve your Marketing guys at the RFC level, and accept their input as valid, but not all emcompassing - They have to understand that there are other versions of the truth - You will need to educate them , and it may take quite a while, but it can be done.

I hope this has helped you see more clearly

Regards

Ed
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UKVIKING
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My two pence or my 3.673 cents

As a Change Manager for my last employer

I was responsible for setting policy / procedures for the division (service provider) in regards to Operations for Change configuration & release

The CAB consisted of the senior or the designated UNIX/Wintel/Net etc who would discuss upcoming changes which would meet the CAB criteria and/or discuss those that did not. The tool we used would deal with the automatic approval of the low level changes.

The Service Desk would author change requests from our customers - verifying the Change Request and entering it into the Incident/Change system.

Some customers have dedicated Change Analysts who act as the Service Desk and manage the customers' specific changes

The rest are managed in part by myself to ensure that the processes/procedures are followed and the engineering teams doingt he work.
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