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Change Management implementation

 
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asrilrm
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Joined: Oct 07, 2007
Posts: 441
Location: Jakarta, INA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 11:30 am    Post subject: Change Management implementation Reply with quote

Hi,

Our company is currently implementing ITIL and I was appointed to create a handbook of the Change Management Process. The handbook draft has been finalized and presented to the head of Operations. We had a consultant that helped us reviewed the draft and he gave clarification to proceed with implementation.
The problem came with the head of Operations. He was hesitated and wanted to be sure the process will work. Although we (me and the consultant) tried to convince him that Change Management is not a big deal and more a matter of administration work, he insisted to have a trial to some cases.
We went through several cases and have made 4 CAB Meetings and so far, have approved 7 RFCs, 3 of which have been reviewed on the PIR.
He still hesitate and wanted to have more evidence.
So I'm in a position of conducting a "shadow" CAB Meeting with CAB members only volunteer and rely on the willingness of Change Requestors to use the process, and I think this is not right.

Did anyone had the same problem? Would you like to share how to overcome it?

Thanks in advance.

Asril Malasan
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dboylan
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Joined: Jan 03, 2007
Posts: 189
Location: Redmond, WA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "shadow" CAB meeting.

What I might suggest to overcome your head of Operations reluctance is to perform a round table exercise. This would consist of you setting up a pre-defined situation where you control the outcome.

There was a series on American PBS called "Ethics In America" that was the best example of round table exercises I have seen. It would take a pre-defined situation and present it to the experts in the fields of finance, government, military, philosophy, etc. and see how it played out. The beauty of it was that it was all controlled by a person who guided the discussion in such a way that all those involved had to really examine the moral dilemmas of the situation.

I wouldn't suggest putting such a dramatic show on in your workplace, but something along the same lines. If your head of Operations needs proof, set up a theoretical situation where Change Management would have benefited and then role play the situation.

Talk with the people who would be involved in the CAB and give them all specific Changes that are going to collide with disastrous results. They would all need to be coached ahead of time with their Changes (server team planning on upgrading hardware, messaging planning on version upgrade, OS with patches, etc). Involve the Business with their plans for process changes or critical business processes. Involve the finance group with times that would severely affect their finance cycle. Let none of them know of the other groups' plans.

Get them all in a conference room and set up the scenario where no Change Management is in place and lead them into a train wreck.

Then give them a way out. Give them the chance to talk with each other and determine how they can all achieve their desired results through regular CAB meetings.

Although the staging of this event requires extreme planning and preparation, it would achieve the desired result.

Don
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asrilrm
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Joined: Oct 07, 2007
Posts: 441
Location: Jakarta, INA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply, Don.
I have to say that we have conducted round table exercises several times, I even have repeat the commitment such as "Do we need Change Management?", "Are we committed to use Change Management?".
All straightforward questions and replied with a strong commitment.

Because the Change Management process has not been officially announced, I see myself as running a "guerilla" activity, you know, like sending invitations to a CAB Meeting which is not official yet. Some people complained about this and refused to come. Some others feel that being a CAB member as an additional task, and so on.

I would have to say that the CAB Meetings I conducted have been very positive, and people have realized the benefits of following the Change Management process.

The 7 RFCs that have been processed are of various types: Emergency, Standard and Basic; along with their categories: minor and significant. We haven't come to a major category so far.
In my opinion, we have already had sufficient evidence.
Yet the head of Operations still hesitate to bring this to the top management to be presented and accepted.
I really don't like to run this kind of situation for it will make it easier if it becomes official.

I'm sorry for the long posting and tend to be like complaining, but I need second opinions.

Asril
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UKVIKING
Senior Itiler


Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 3313
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

May I ask how things were doing before ?

How were system updates, patches upgrades etc implemented

Were there outages/downtime / unexpected issues

Ask your boss why is he resistent
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John Hardesty
ITSM Manager's Certificate (Red Badge)

Change Management is POWER & CONTROL. /....evil laughter
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UrgentJensen
Senior Itiler


Joined: Feb 23, 2005
Posts: 458
Location: London

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi asrilrm,

I feel your pain! I've been in similar situations in the past and I have to say in my previous job it took more than twelve months for the Change Management process to be just accepted and followed. May sound rediculous, but it was an extremee environment which had never had any formalised processes, no accountability and actually a fundamental cultural defiance of the philsophy in general - a very liberally minded not for profit type organisation.

I hope and doubt yours will be that bad. Do you have many formalised processes at the moment? If not then the key generic issue at play here is organisation change management i.e. the cultural attitude, definition and understanding of corporate goals.

People resist new processes whenever they can. So to bypass that you need organisational empowerment and accountability at the right level.

The other issue is if you bring in just one process then it will work to a degree but always will be slightly undermined by the absence of the other processes around it, e.g. Incident and Problem Management. I don't know if this the case at your place.

I can't tell you how to do it but you need to aquire empowerment at a level above the the Ops Manager, e.g. the IT Director. They just need to put an email out stating his/her backing of this initiative and then everyone has to start playing ball. This is really important.

After that then it's about process accountability. If the Director made a statement like that and then you made the Ops Manager accountable for the process then he/she would fall into line pretty quickly. Just to clarify; responsibility is something else: you can still be the responsible for the day to day running and improvement to the change process, but the Ops Manager would be accountable for it's overall success.

... maybe... Shocked

Cheers,

UJ
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asrilrm
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Joined: Oct 07, 2007
Posts: 441
Location: Jakarta, INA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your opinions, John and Jensen Very Happy
First, Jensen, you are absolutely right (no maybe lol). The Ops manager has to be accountable (at least this is what I made in the RASCI matrix lol)
The funny thing is that most staff were satisfied with the CAB Meeting. In one case, the CAB Meeting has helped a requestor through brainstorming, where he missed something in his plan, and was cleared in the CAB Meeting.

We have many processes but not documented. The only documentations are SOPs of specific applications and "incident management"-like SOPs for operations. Slowly we are managing to complete documentation of all processes, either through ITIL for operations, RUP for development, etc.

As for the implementation of ITIL, the strategy was to do it by process. The first process officially announced was the Incident Management process. Incident Management was relatively fast. The Change Management and Configuration Management come next, where CM process is assigned to me.

I don't know what is wrong, I think my situation is already perfect to announce the CM process.
Well, I guess I got to work harder to convince the head of Operations Laughing

John, I've already tried to ask the boss about his hesitation several times but never got a clear answer. Sometimes he wanted more evidence of success, another time he was afraid the process was too "high in the sky" and people would resist using it, and so on and so on Rolling Eyes

Previously, changes were handled quite poorly. No documentation on changes, no justification of planned changes, no information spread upon a change.
As you might think, post implementation became nightmares because those who were not informed, were caught in surprise (including Help Desk). It was horrible, really

Asril
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UKVIKING
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Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 3313
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is your answer to your boss.

Previously, changes were handled quite poorly. No documentation on changes, no justification of planned changes, no information spread upon a change.
As you might think, post implementation became nightmares because those who were not informed, were caught in surprise (including Help Desk). It was horrible, really

If this is know by him and he is getting beaten up.... here is the crux to get him to chaneg his mind

You tell him the new process will reduce the # of above issues. IF the process is not used the above will continue
It is quite boolean
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John Hardesty
ITSM Manager's Certificate (Red Badge)

Change Management is POWER & CONTROL. /....evil laughter
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Smitboy
Newbie
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Joined: Mar 07, 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi asrilrm,

I've been in similar situations where an organisation knows it wants/has to improve, not quite sure why, and even less sure of how to remediate the situation. There was some knowledge and appreciation of ITIL/Change Management process, but it was mainly perceived to be the latest fad, or more bureaucracy/workload for an already-stretched IT team. So resistance to it was tangible. (Less so from the Support staff I might add).

In my experience, in order to prove the concept and gain support there's a couple of key ingredients:

1) Baselining
2) Evidence

Baselining: Like any implementation you are trying to establish the 'where are we now' scenario. Sounds like you've made great efforts to achieve this already. The problem is your boss needs to see more evidence, before committing, or submitting a proposal to his boss. This is where you have the advantage.

Evidence: Keep going with your 'shadow' process but this time, as part of the process of Closing a Change Record, why not set up and hold a frequent Change Review Board made up of CAB members and any significant others (such as your boss). With an agenda to look at successes and failures, with your CAB members taking actions to remediate lessons learned, etc. I would also hold a straw poll of the members requesting feedback on the process in general, and what makes it work for them. There's your additional evidence and a great lead in to the 'where do we want to be' scenario.

In addition, if he's not already why not make your boss a part of the Change Approval process, if only for visibility of Changes, at least he will be on the hook and accountable for when Changes fail.

Good luck, hope it helps.

Cheers,
Matt

ITSM Consultant
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asrilrm
Senior Itiler


Joined: Oct 07, 2007
Posts: 441
Location: Jakarta, INA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, everyone.
Good news, at last the head of Ops has gained confidence about the CM process.
After running several meeting sessions, he had concluded that we have already had a solid starting point. It seems that he was waiting for a failed change process, and it happened last week Exclamation
But the failure was handled properly according to the backout plan
Nevertheless, I still see him as a risk averter, or a safe player.
At least there was a lesson learned for me personally.

Matt, thanks for your input, they were really valuable. Believe me, the head of Ops was the first one in the CAB members list, and he did attended the whole CAB Meeting.

I have even been given a nickname, Mr. Taxi Driver, because I carried out the CAB Meeting, if you know what I mean Wink

The only small obstruction is the creativity that came into the Head's mind, I put it in the "Need Opinion" topic in the "ITIL Discussion" section.
But I think with a good advice I've got, I can handle it.

Thanks everyone, for your inputs, suggestions, opinions.
I really appreciate them.

Asril
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Skinnera
Senior Itiler


Joined: May 07, 2005
Posts: 121
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

asrilrm wrote:
Nevertheless, I still see him as a risk averter, or a safe player.
For someone who is in charge of service, this seems like no bad thing Wink

Of course, he'll have to balance that against the needs of the business from time to time, but a good 'type' to have as Head of Ops. Very Happy
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asrilrm
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Joined: Oct 07, 2007
Posts: 441
Location: Jakarta, INA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, you're right, and that was the lesson I've learned Wink

Cheers,
Asril
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