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ITIL :: View topic - CAB Implementation
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CAB Implementation

 
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Fredizz
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 6:53 pm    Post subject: CAB Implementation Reply with quote

I currently work for an organistion which doesn't use a CAB infrastructure in order to review and overview what's going on.
So far the change manager is checking if all infos are there, he's only the owner of the change when the change is in "Control Check" status in the lifeCycle.
My mission is to implement a CAB and to implement as far as possible the ITIL best practise..
We have different types of changes: infrastructure and development, the global and local.
So far the meetings organised are informal meetings where no approval are given, it's more an update meeting than anyththing else.
I would like to have advices on how to organise one in terms of structure(Who should be there? What changes should be discussed...)and how to drive it.
What's the role of the ChangeManager in the CAB?
In the lifecycle can you tell me where the CAB is located?
Thanks in advance.
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m_croon
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Joined: Aug 11, 2006
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Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Fredizz,

If I take a shot at interpreting your post, I find the following questions (correct me if I'm wrong):

1. How to assess the impact of changes, and therefor to determin whether they should be adressed in CAB

2. How to compose a CAB (who should be in it)

3. When to hold the CAB (within your change lifecycle)

4. What is the role of the change manager

> 1: assessing the impact:
Basicly, every change that is not described in a procedure/work instruction should be considered a non standard change. You can consider however, to allow the change manager or a team coordinator to assess low-impact changes instead of having these adressed in a CAB. The risk is that the assesment of low impact changes is not always done properly. The benefit is that you will increase commitment to your process and that you speed up your low impact changes. Still, I think that low impact changes should be reported to the CAB, but that can be done after they are finished (monthly basis).

Try to make a generic impact framework. For every change, you should determine:
* How much budget is involved
* How many hours requiered to finish it
* A possible risk (use a factor, for instance on a scale 1-3, where 1 is a small expected risk and 3 a high risk)
* Business importance (again: use a factor)
* External suppliers involved (yes/no)
* Downtime requiered
* ....

If you use all these aspects to give each change a ranking, you could start by having all changes above a certain treshold to be discussed in CAB (and the others by a team coordinator or other role within your process). This might not be a method that will last you very long and/or that will cover 100% of all changes in the right way, but it is a way to start, and to make people aware of the impact of their change (also compared to others).

> 2: composing the CAB
Who should be members of a CAB realy depends on your organisation. I will try and give a general answer, you might want to think carefully about your own organisation after reading my post:
* Customer: having the customer in your CAB assures the assesment of business needs. Easier done when you have 1 internal customer as opposed to many external customers (to tell you the truth, I have not seen many CABs where the customer participates). The customer could be represented by a service level manager.
* Product owners: they should give commitment from a product point of view.
* Service desk: they should know from first hand what's going on change-wise, as they will receive all the calls when things go wrong.
* Techies: network dept, operations dept (maybe the same team leaders who asses low impact changes)
For all CAB members, it is important that they have the mandate to decide. ITIL talks about the Change Advisory Board. Personally, I use the term "Change Aproval Board".

>3: When to hold the CAB
Again, no definitive answer can be given. It depends whether the bulk of your changes is infrastructural or application wise, with the application changes again differing between of-the-shelve software or customized applications.
Why not start low key and make sure that all changes are adressed once, and obviously before they go into production. In a later stage, after evaluation, you could decide if you want to have the promotion to more or every following life cycle phase of a change accompanied by CAB aproval. The risk is that this will be a great administrative burden. For some organisations, the benefit is needed control.

> 4: Role of the change manager:
The change manager should steer on the process, not on the content of any change. He/she should make sure that a weekly operational and/or monthly service level orriented report on the quality of the process is prepared. Necesary steering based on these reports should be started and monitored by the process manager. And of course: chair(wo)man of the CAB. Be aware: the change manager also has responsibility (proces-wise) for standard changes.

Hope this helps,

Michiel
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UKVIKING
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Joined: Sep 16, 2006
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Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2006 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sigh.

The CAB.I prefer Yellow ones to be honest.

The biggest thing in conveneinga CABis the method of the meeting

Telephonic or physical meetings.

Also, you should separate the Operational CAB from the Development CAB. To be honest a Dev CAB is an oxymoron.

Since Change Management is usually involved with Operational Services, a Development Division for S/W or H/W usually needs a release management focus - see the Application MGMT from ITIL

Next, how often the cab takes place...

Depends.

How many changes are raised in a week for how many services whicha re provided

I origiinally had 3/Week CAB for my operational teams where the Operational Support team met - Unix, Microsoft, Network, Net Security ( Firewalls) would discuss the upcoming changes and then approve the changes at the meeting

Once the teams started following the process, procedures and beleived in ITIL Change MGMT, I devolved some of the more simpler change types to the department head and those kind of changes did not appear at the cab to be discussed. HOWEVER... if the numbnuts engineer doing the work screws it up and causes outages... back to the control of the CAB.

Customers were represented by regular attendance of the Service Managers. I did not wanted 10-20 SMs at the meeting so they rotated the seat.

The Service Desk is also represented.

The CAB produces an Agenda, Minutes, Forward Schedule of Change and Project Service Availability - providing that we had data to post.

The Change Manager also needs to change their focus from

did all the check boxes get ticked

to

How can the implementation of the chaneg be done with minimal impact to the eventual consumer of the service being affected.

Then you have to work with the Operational Support team, Duty and Operational Managers and the Service Desk to design and implement an CAB/EC Emergency CAB inorder to deal with true Emergencies

The hard part will be having to say no... Well...actually that is the best thing in my book..to specific changes that some one is attempting to rush through because they did not do any planning.

Usually, some Project MGMT or some one linked to them puts in achange which was supposed to be put in the queuein accordance with the lead time and standards that you set for specific types of changes (not the ITIL type).

They raise the urgency or try to use mgmt politics to force you to push the change. The Operational Support team would look to the CM as the gate keeper and providing your mgmt backs you up, you have to have the steel to tell PMs as well as other types no.
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Fabien
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A little note I may add here.

As you publish Change Models, you can also use them to define different CAB structures, different quorums, etc. You may have a large organization and or a distributed environment that makes impractical to have one CAB.

Say you create a change model for all changes related to non-IP telephony, provided that your IT department takes care of telephony of course. Does it make sense to invite someone from Client Computing? Maybe not. And if yes, is that person's presence mandatory, and should he/she be given veto power? ... that sort of questions...

A CAB needs to be composed of the right people to evaluate changes to be approved. Beyond that, it's about business sense, company culture and organizational experience. Pick the right veggies and they'll make a great soup.

You can't really define this without the practical details.
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Fredizz
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:16 am    Post subject: CAB implementation Reply with quote

Thank you all for your informations, as we are using at the moment a system call Teamtrack, all the approvals are given through the system and not through formal meetings, so at the moment we'll keep it this way.
As no approval will be given through the CAB, should i focus my attention on the RFC's which are about to be release? And focusing on the RFC with a high risk and a large or medium size?
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Fabien
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you implying that the system implements an automated approval cycle so people don't meet in person but basically just press a button?

If you are saying that the system approves changes without intervention from people, I'm puzzled, because there would really be no control at all.

I would focus on a few high-level tasks first:

1) Appoint at least one change manager process owner. Define a scope for this role and make it practical so the person doesn't find him/herself responsible for all the evil in the world and no way to fight it. Design a high-level process. Build consensus.

2) Define the objectives for the process, what and how to measure.

3) Find out which changes seem to present to biggest difficulty to control and negotiate your way into implementing a structured approach.

.... that sort of things...
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preales
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Additional info for you:

In my company we run the CAB on Tuesdays at 2PM.
Most of the people join by phone (conference) and netmeeting.
These are the departments that participate in the approval process:

Client Services Site Managers
Security Manager
Operations Manager
Application Support Manager
Infrastructure Director
Helpdesk Services Manager
Datacenter Manager
WAN - LAN / Telephony Manager
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andincan
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi folks,

we are just in the process of implementing ITIL processes and Change Management. Our organization has a limit on resources, lots of change and lots of meetings already. When I was giving my first ITIL presentations and I described the CAB, there were many moans and groans from the audience - oh no, more meetings.

So, to combat this we have done two things:
1. For voting on proposed significant changes we do this by email. This has a number of advantages, its quick, you only hit the people you need, and people do not have to sit through long meetings listening to changes that do not affect them.

2. We came up with a sub group that we called the Core CAB. This group is the one that physically meets and discusses issues arising from the CM process.

It is early days yet, but it is working so far. Any comments appreciated!

Merry Christmas!!
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m_croon
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

andincan wrote:
Hi folks,


So, to combat this we have done two things:
1. For voting on proposed significant changes we do this by email. This has a number of advantages, its quick, you only hit the people you need, and people do not have to sit through long meetings listening to changes that do not affect them.


Hi,

Sounds like a good start to me. I have a question though: what do you vote for? Is it for getting changes approved, or is it for getting changes on the CAB agenda? In the former case, i'd change (!) the use of e-mail to using a workflow tool that has semi-automatic approval functionality (I know that Assyst and HP Service Desk have this). By using this, you have better control on who has already responded (or did not respond yet).

Cheers,

M
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Fabien
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You may also want to keep an ARCI chart handy to make sure you are not requiring everybody's formal approval on everything, unless you have specific procedures for when members are absent and for resolving conflicts and disagreements. In the end, the Change Manager is the one who should take the responsibility of the decision but if the CAB is only a rubberstamp, then you may lose members...

just a few thoughts...
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Fabien Papleux

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