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ITIL :: View topic - improving the change management process
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improving the change management process

 
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andresoperez
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Joined: Sep 13, 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:52 am    Post subject: improving the change management process Reply with quote

Hallo,

I've been asked to look into our change management process. The management feels there's a lot of room for improvement, but at the same time don't want to say exactly what it is that they feel is not going well. They want me to find it out myself so to be as objective as possible.
Sofar i managed to extract a few things out from talking to employees and looking in our servicemanagement tool. I also got a couple of hints from our management:
1. The implementation of changes are dragged too long and often decisions are taken based on bad quality info
2. In projects often people are shifted to other projects and roles are unclear.

The way i see it is that theres a need for a new (improved) change management process that includes a bit of a projectmanagement approach / good practices for implementing changes.

I know a bit of ITIL and Prince2, But i have no experience with this type of task.

What i'm hoping for through this post is to get some tips or ideas on how to approach this. Maybe there's a framework or a known approach model.
All tips are welcomed, even urls and books or other readings that touch or cover this subject. I'm willing to put in the work, just need
to be pointed in the right direction.

Thanks in advanced
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UKVIKING
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Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 3318
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes there is a framework

it is called ITIL
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Change Management is POWER & CONTROL. /....evil laughter
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rpmason
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Joined: May 25, 2007
Posts: 105
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:32 am    Post subject: Re: improving the change management process Reply with quote

Quote:

1. The implementation of changes are dragged too long and often decisions are taken based on bad quality info
2. In projects often people are shifted to other projects and roles are unclear.


You need to find out why and fix that.

Why are changes dragged on too long? Does the CAB meet only weekly? Do people keep rescheduling?

Why do your change requests have bad information? If the technical information is bad, are the change being technically reviewed before going to the CAB, or even to the Change Manager?

Why are roles are unclear? People moving around is not unusual. Do you have the current policies, processes, and procedures documented, easy to find, and easy to use? Do you provide training on the change process?

A symptoms may point to one thing but sometimes it's an even deeper issue.
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Diarmid
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Joined: Mar 04, 2008
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Location: Newcastle-under-Lyme

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

andresoperez,

you could get hold of a copy of ISO20000 and audit your change process against that. The audit result would give you a picture of where you have weaknesses and whether you need a wholly new design or a bit of an improvement program. Then you can apply more detailed ideas of best practice from ITIL or wherever to underpin your processes.

Of course, you will find spill-over into other process areas that need improving as well. It is rare that poor performance in one area is not complemented in other places.
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William Penn 1644-1718
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Timo
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Joined: Oct 26, 2007
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Location: Calgary, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I doubt you will find a specific answer on this (or any other forum). In the nutshell, it will boil down to finding out what's is not working and fixing it. If you have a Change policy it might make things a bit easier. As another poster suggested above, using ISO20K for auditing the process will be a good start too. Did somebody also mention ITIL and its good practices? Twisted Evil
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vimprash
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Joined: Jul 13, 2006
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Items listed(resource shifiting) by you it looks like more on Project Management front.

To improve your process: You can do gap assessment of the existing process based on ITIL framework or ISO 20K standard's Change Management. When you comply to those your process will be in better shape. Earn rewards by intimating your good job on complying.

All the very best. Happy learning Smile
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Diarmid
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Joined: Mar 04, 2008
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Location: Newcastle-under-Lyme

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vimprash wrote:
To improve your process: You can do gap assessment of the existing process based on ITIL framework or ISO 20K standard's Change Management.


Properly speaking you cannot do a gap assessment based on ITIL processes since they are not prescriptive. You would first have to determine what you wanted out of the guidance.

This is not to say that ITIL is less than extremely useful to you. You can study it and say "oh yes,
i'd like to use this bit and that bit etc. Also you can use it as guidance to help you understand how to achieve conformance to ISO20000.

If you do perform gap analysis using ITIL as measure, you run the risk of delivering changes you do not need. You may throw out a perfectly decent procedure because you do not recognize that it achieves all that you require from the ITIL "procedure" you replace it with.
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andresoperez
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for your ideas.

I've made some progress by starting over from scratch. i managed to get an overview of the issues right now by talking to people, interviewing them. Two issues stick out, these are two that i would classify as main.


1. The added value of the Change management process is not recognized by a lot of people in the organization. The process is seen as an administrative task/bureaucratic. This is coming mostly from the administrators or network employee's corner. For example they have to add a storage disk to a particular server ( a job of a couple of minutes) but they have to go through the whole cycle of filling in the rfc, having it approved en sometimes even write an implementation plan when the impact of a small change is big. During the conversations we had they made their frustration/resistance clear wich is also evident in a lot of the daily rfc's that come in. Example:rfc's that are incomplete or unclear, wich causes the change coordinators to run back and forth to clarify things.

- They way i see it is that the "what's in it for me factor" should be adressed.
For this i was thinking something in the lines of an internal campagne to make the proces more transparant, involve the stakeholders in small workshops/demo's to hopefully get them to support the proces. By doing this i'm hoping to get them to realize that although following the change management process correctly won't necesserely make their jobs any easier, they will benefit from it in the long run. By following the process correcly chances of errors are reduced, things are getting done in a planned way, every change is registered so that when there is an incident we have the history. Basically saying that when the proces is
followed correctly we all benefit from it (the bigger picture).

Let me know what you think of it!



2. The other issue is that there is no approach/step in the current change management process to continually evaluate and improve the process.

For this i've looked into CSI, but noticed quickly that its intended for the whole service lifecycle and i'm just interested in the change management proces.

Are there any other models/approaches that can help me with this?

I'm also curious to how other companies do it, maybe you can tell me about how its done at your company.

Thanks in advanced.
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Diarmid
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

andresoperez,

the essence of an improvement program is measurement. There are, I believe several models, but my memory is hazy about their names or origin. Except that there is a description in the ISO9000 standard (I can't remember which document).

However the underlying base is something like this:

    gather measurements
    identify plausible improvement targets
    research feasibility of achieving these
    select best (probability of success, cost of exercise and value of improvement)
    design improvements
    implement improvements
    measure outcomes
    cycle


For Change Management some possible measure relate to:
    the costs and benefits of completed changes
    the occurrence of rescheduling of changes
    the occurrence of failed changes
    the occurrence of post-change incidents
    the occurrence of unauthorized changes (but detection is part of the picture so watch out)
    length of time in approval and in planning processes
    cost of CAB meetings


In the end it has to be what things are important to your service. Don't fall into the trap of selecting things because they are easy to measure rather than important.
_________________
"Method goes far to prevent trouble in business: for it makes the task easy, hinders confusion, saves abundance of time, and instructs those that have business depending, both what to do and what to hope."
William Penn 1644-1718
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thechosenone69
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Joined: Jun 06, 2007
Posts: 268

PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andres,

Adding to Diarmid If you read the blue book (ITIL Service Support) book. You will find few topics talkng about how to merge IT Service Management with Project Management, also it talks about how Change is associated with projects. Its good to hear that you are aware of the prince2 methodology. However you need to be careful with mixing the 2 roles together what so ever, roles should be done separately. As Project management aim is to close projects and move to the next one, where as IT Service Management focuses on continual improvement of service.

As I mentioned earlier, the best resource for you would be the ITIL V2 bluebook, You can read the change management process by it self to understand the best practice and how to sell the benefits to your company. However I dont recommend it. I would suggest if you start working on getting your ITIL foundation to understand how Change management relates and relies on other processes as well.

Finally, read about standard changes and see if that would resolve the debate your having with the Admins. Get a template for change for replacing drives and just let them amend the key factors in it. Also put in mind you shouldn't let the administrators/staff manage the processes and let them control the management, thats a huge mistake as they love to bypass it, if they have the authority they will burn those processes and will turn the business to a Zoo.

[/b]
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Ali Makahleh
Configuration Management(Blue Badge),
ITILV2 Service Manager(Red Badge),
ITILV3 Expert(Lilac Badge) Certified.

“If you can't describe what you are doing as a process, you don't know what you're doing." W. Edwards Deming.
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