How to continuously improve the ITIL Change Management Process

By ITIL® from Experience©

ITIL® mentions that the last item on the Change Advisory Board (CAB) Agenda is a discussion to improve the process1 . Since most organizations with a Change Management process have weekly CAB meetings, there should be a continuous flow of improvements.

The difficulty in executing this best practice is that when Change Management is newly implemented, the CAB meeting is usually quite full as work in progress within the organization comes to the CAB causing a backlog. In addition, early on RFCs usually need more discussions than would be required with a more mature process. This is due to the fact that both CAB Members and people submitting Request For Change (RFC) are learning the new process and adjusting information required and setting people's expectations (or in some cases this is being established). Furthermore, forms, guidelines and tools are still being refined or sometimes defined. As a result these CAB meetings often run out of time to cover all agenda items. When there is never time to get to this last agenda item, it eventually gets dropped from the agenda.

When CAB meetings do not allow enough time to discuss process improvements, have a two phase meeting. Have a CAB meeting to deal with the business of the CAB. Then, have another meeting of 30 minutes immediately after the CAB and in the same room (or in a different room if the CAB overflows into it), to discuss the CAB meeting proceedings, improvements and to review outstanding improvement action items. This follow up meeting in fact becomes a process development/improvement working group.

This approach enables the Change Management process to be improved and nurtured when it needs most – at the onset of implementation. Over time as the process matures, and the working group’s work diminishes, this second meeting can be collapsed into the last agenda item of the CAB. However, it is a good idea to have a formal improvement meeting monthly or at least quarterly to ensure that continually improving the process is not forgotten.

Published on: 2012-10-28
Last updated on: 2017-05-06

"Implementing Change Management is like driving from New Hampshire where you "Live Free or Die" to Missouri, "The Show Me State."

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