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Jul 2, 2007

Change Management Quick Reference

"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." -Author unknown, commonly misattributed to Charles Darwin.

"It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory." -W. Edwards Deming.

"The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them." -George Bernard Shaw.

Change Management (CM) is the most complex process in Service Support. It's
importance resides on a fact that over 80% of incidents emerge from performed changes. Therefore changes should be managed. Most of the ITIL compliancy projects fail at CM. It requires a high level of collective discipline, skills and mindset.

There is a connection of Change with all other ITSM disciplines, but especially with Release, Configuration and Capacity Management.
For your convenience, here are Change Management quick reference data I gathered for my ITIL Service Manager exam:


  • RFC - Request For Change: can be triggered from different sources: Incident/Problem resolution, introduction/upgrade/removal of the CI...
  • FSC - Forward Schedule of Changes: details of all the Changes approved for implementation and their proposed implementation dates
  • PSA - Projected Service Availability: contains details of Changes to agreed SLAs and service availability because of the currently planned FSC
  • CAB - Change Advisory Board: a body that approves Changes and assists Change Management in the assessment and prioritization of changes, composed of major stakeholders impacted by the change and technical staff responsible for tech. implementation
  • CAB/EC - Change Advisory Board / Emergency Comitee: a smaller body with authority to make emergency decisions in case of Urgent Changes
  • CMDB - Configuration Management Database

  • To minimize the adverse impact of change upon service quality
  • To ensure standard methods and procedures are used for efficient and prompt handling of all changes
  • To assess the potential benefits of change to the organization against the risk and associated costs to the organization
Change Management MindMap Picture
Picture: Change Management Mind Map

  • raising and recording Changes
  • assessing the impact, cost, benefits and risk of Changes
  • developing the business justification and obtaining approval
  • management and co-ordination of Change implementation
  • monitoring and reporting on the implementation
  • closing and reviewing the Change requests

  • RFCs
  • CMDB
  • FSC - Forward Schedule of Changes

  • Initiating and logging
  • Initial filtering
  • Allocating initial priority
  • Categorization
  • Assessing impact and resource
  • Authorizing and approving
  • Scheduling
  • Building
  • Testing
  • Implementing
  • Reviewing
  • Management reporting on Change Management quality and operations

  • FSC
  • RFCs
  • CAB minutes and actions
  • Change Management Reports
BASIC Change Management Process Diagram
Picture 1: BASIC Change Management Process

  • Less adverse impact of changes on the quality of IT services and SLA
  • A better assessment of the cost of proposed changes, before it is incurred
  • A reduction in the number of changes that have to be backed-out, but an ability to be able to do this more easily
  • An ability to absorb a higher level of change without difficulty
  • Increased visibility and communication of changes to both business and service support staff
  • Improved risk assessment
  • Improved Problem and Availability mgt. trough the use of valuable management information relating to changes
  • Increased productivity of key staff as less need for diversion from planned duties to implement urgent changes or back our erroneous changes

Possible Problems
  • Implementing on over bureaucratic process
  • Attempt to bypass the process
  • Paper based system - bottleneck
  • Cultural difficulties - getting buy-in
  • Contracts and third parties
  • Scope of change is too wide
  • Ownership of impact systems is unclear
  • Lack of Configuration Management
  • Inaccurate configuration details leading to poor impact assessment
  • Lack of management commitment
  • Poor synchronization of upgrades between platforms and across locations
  • Back-out procedures are missing or not tested
  • Handling of urgent changes
  • Progressing RFC is too manually intensive
  • Complex distributed or mobile infrastructure
  • Time-scales (too ambitious)
  • Lack of resources (people, products)

STANDARD Change Management Process
Picture 2: STANDARD Change Management Process
Change Manager:
  • Receive, log and allocate priority to all RFCs. Rejects inappropriate RFCs
  • Table RFCs for CAB meetings
  • Decides meeting participants according to RFC nature
  • Convene Urgent CAB or CAB/EC meetings for all URGENT RFCs
  • Chair ALL CAB meetings
  • Authorize acceptable Changes (according to CAB decisions)
  • Issue FSC via Service Desk
  • Liaise with all parties to coordinate change building, testing and implementation
  • Update Change log with progress
  • Review implemented changes
  • Review all outstanding RFCs waiting consideration or action
  • Analyze Change records to identify trends or apparent problems that can occur
  • Close RFCs
  • Management reporting
  • Review all submitted RFCs. As appropriate, determine and provide details of their likely impact, the implementation resources, and the ongoing costs of all Changes.
  • Attend all relevant CAB or CAB/EC meetings. Consider all Changes on the agenda and give an opinion on which Changes should be authorized. Participate in the scheduling of all Changes.
  • (CAB/EC only). Be available for consultation should an urgent Change be required.
  • Provide advice to Change Management on aspects of proposed urgent Changes.
URGENT Change Management Process Diagram
Picture 3: URGENT Change Management Process

Key Performance Indicators
Controlling Changes
  • Number of RFCs processed
  • Number of RFCs rejected
  • Number of unauthorized changes detected
  • Number of RFCs implemented on schedule
  • Number of RFCs requiring reschedules
Making Quick and Accurate Changes Based On Business Priorities
  • Number of RFCs marked as URGENT
  • Number of RFCs not tested prior to implementation
  • Number of RFCs that failed
  • Number of RFCs without business case
  • Number of RFCs bypassing CAB or CAB/EC
Protecting Services When making Changes
  • Number of high Severity incidents caused by RFC implementation
  • Number of other incidents caused by RFC implementation
  • Number of RFCs without a backup strategy

1 comment:

Amitav said...

Excellent post! the following blogs may also serve as additional reference.
ITIL Change Management
CMDB- the Magic Respository