I am often confronted with the belief that selecting a service management toolset will magically instill the discipline of service management within an organisation. I know it has been said much time before but having a service management toolset, even a really good one, only allows you to communicate faster and more efficiently with your colleagues. You still need to work out WHAT you want to talk about or else a tool simply does not provide the expected benefits.
I offer this simple example of 8 questions that ANY organisation needs to ask and answer with regards to a single process, Change Management. I stress that no toolset will answer these for you, but what they will do is make sure that once you have made the decisions people can work easily and efficiently in the way you have decided.
If you don’t know why the process is there how do you know if you’re doing it right? This question is critical if you expect to offer coherent reports from the process to show the value.
The objective of the Change Management process is to ensure that standardised methods and techniques are used for efficient and prompt handling of all changes in order to enable beneficial changes to be made with minimum disruption to services.
This is utterly fundamental. If you have not agreed what a change really is how do you expect your IT staff to know when to engage with the process?!
“Any addition / modification /removal or maintenance taking place on an in scope item or monitoring of an in scope item”. Please be aware that a ‘Break fix’ (i.e. an incident resolution) DOES require a change if it occurs on an in scope item.
This is another fundamental question. If you don’t have this clearly defined no one will know when they should engage with Change Management and when they should be using another process.
Don’t forget to say what is NOT under change control!
How will your change process interact with your 3rd party suppliers?
If you don’t define what you consider to be an emergency….then I guarantee that EVERY change will be an emergency!
A change is considered Emergency when it meets ALL of the following criteria:-
Please note that a ‘Business Critical Impact’ could also include the following areas:-
So now you have marked it as an emergency what happens next?
Does your change process require approval in principle early on in the changes lifecycle? Or do you just want to authorise the change prior to implementation?
Are you a speed bump prior to go live for a last minute sanity check? Or do you want to review all changes for approval in principle? In which case how do you stop Change Management from becoming a bottleneck?
Suggested answer for 2 change categories.
The approval of ALL voting members of CAB is required to approve AND / OR authorise a change. If you do not attend CAB and do not raise any issues in advance your approval is assumed automatically.
This meeting is critical to Service Management in general and Change Management in particular. How often will you meet? Where will you meet? What Terms of Reference will you use to guide this meeting?
Weekly to begin with.
Aim for an hour at the most.
Send out your CAB Agenda the day before to allow people to attend inform
Below is a suggested timeline of activities.
I have yet to find ANY toolset which is able to make these decisions for an organisation. If you wish to get full value from your ITSM implementation then you need to ask, and answer, questions like these before you go anywhere near a toolset.
I have a full list of over 30 questions an organisation needs to agree just for Change Management. However once those questions are agreed the toolset can be put into place to make sure it’s a simple and painless process for staff to follow.
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