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Optimize Change Management

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Your Challenge

Infrastructure managers and change managers need to re-evaluate their change management process due to slow change turnaround time, too many unauthorized changes, too many incidents and outages because of poorly managed changes, or difficulty evaluating and prioritizing changes.
IT system owners often resist change management because they see it as slow and bureaucratic.
Infrastructure changes are often seen as “different” from application changes, and two (or more) processes may exist.

Our Advice

Critical Insight
ITIL provides a usable framework for change management, but full process rigor is not appropriate for every change request.
You need to design a process that is flexible enough to meet the demand for change, and strict enough to protect the live environment from change-related incidents.
A mature change management process will minimize review and approval activity. Counterintuitively, with experience in implementing changes, risk levels decline to a point where most changes are “preapproved.”
Impact and Result
Create a unified change management process that reduces risk and takes a balanced approach toward deploying changes, while also maintaining throughput of innovation and enhancements.
Categorize changes based on an industry-standard risk model with objective measures of impact and likelihood.
Establish and empower a change manager and change advisory board with the authority to manage, approve, and prioritize changes.
Establish easy-to-follow intake, assessment, and approval processes, and ensure that there is visibility into changes across the organization.

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Optimize Change Management

  1. 1. Info-Tech Research Group 1Info-Tech Research Group 1 Info-Tech Research Group, Inc. is a global leader in providing IT research and advice. Info-Tech’s products and services combine actionable insight and relevant advice with ready-to-use tools and templates that cover the full spectrum of IT concerns. © 1997-2017 Info-Tech Research Group Inc. Optimize Change Management Turn and face the change with a right-sized change management process. Info-Tech's products and services combine actionable insight and relevant advice with ready-to-use tools and templates that cover the full spectrum of IT concerns.© 1997 - 2016 Info-Tech Research Group
  2. 2. Info-Tech Research Group 2Info-Tech Research Group 2 Balance risk and efficiency to optimize change management. ANALYST PERSPECTIVE Any significant change to the technical environment – be it a core business application or a critical network/compute/storage appliance – brings a certain element of risk of unplanned consequences. Organizations that prefer to avoid all risk will drown in a burdensome process and red tape, entailed by rounds of technical and configuration reviews. It’s essential to balance the need to mitigate risk while remaining flexible and responsive to the needs of the business. A right-sized process will incorporate adequate due diligence, without being so onerous that sysadmins prefer to bypass the process altogether and implement changes “under the radar.” Key success factors for any change management initiative include staff buy into the need for the control, appropriate processware, an ITSM platform to track the lifecycle of all changes, and visible management support for this foundational activity of any dynamic business. Sumit Chowdhury, Senior Director, Infrastructure Practice Info-Tech Research Group
  3. 3. Info-Tech Research Group 3Info-Tech Research Group 3 Resolution Situation Complication Executive summary 1. An objective framework for estimating risk is necessary to assess changes. Simply asking “what is the risk?” will result in subjective responses that will likely minimize the perceived risk. 2. Maximize value through integration with the IT service management ecosystem. Change management in isolation will bring some benefits, but integration with problem, incident, project, configuration, and release management maximizes the ROI. 3. A mature change management process will minimize review and approval activity. Counterintuitively, with experience in implementing changes, risk levels decline to a point where most changes are preapproved. • IT system owners often resist change management because they see it as slow and bureaucratic. • At the same time, an increasingly interlinked technical environment may cause issues to appear in unexpected places. Configuration management systems are often not kept up to date to catch the potential linkages. • Infrastructure changes are often seen as “different” from application changes, and two (or more) processes may exist. • Create a unified change management process that reduces risk and is balanced in its approach toward deploying changes, while also maintaining throughput of innovation and enhancements. ◦ Categorize changes based on an industry-standard risk model with objective measures of impact and likelihood. ◦ Establish and empower a change manager and change advisory board with the authority to manage, approve, and prioritize changes. ◦ Integrate a configuration management database with the change management process to identify dependencies. Infrastructure and application change occurs constantly, driven by changing business needs, requests for new functionality, operational releases and patches, and resolution of incidents or problems detected by the service desk. IT managers need to follow a standard change management process to ensure that rogue changes are never deployed while the organization remains responsive to demand.
  4. 4. Info-Tech Research Group 4Info-Tech Research Group 4 BUSINESS NEW APP NEW VERSION Business requests2 IT change is constant and is driven by: CONFIGURATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (CMS) WORK- AROUND FIX INCIDENT & PROBLEM SERVICE DESK MAJOR RELEASE SECURITY PATCH MAINTENANCE RELEASE OPERATIONS CHANGE MANAGEMENT If you have a CMS, it is used to keep a record of changes to the infrastructure and is queried to assess change requests. Operational releases and patches1 Incident or problem tickets3 Business-driven changes may include requests from other business departments that require IT’s support. Operational releases, maintenance, vendor-driven updates, and security updates all can be key drivers of change. Some incident and problem tickets require a change in order to facilitate resolution of the incident.
  5. 5. Info-Tech Research Group 5Info-Tech Research Group 5 Successful change management will provide benefits to both the business and IT Respond to business requests faster, while reducing the number of change-related disruptions. IT Benefits Fewer change-related incidents and outages. Faster change turnaround time. Higher rate of change success. Less change rework. Fewer service desk calls related to poorly communicated changes. Business Benefits Fewer service disruptions. Faster response to requests for new and enhanced functionality. Higher rate of benefits realization when changes are implemented. Lower cost per change. Fewer “surprise” changes disrupting productivity. IT satisfaction with change management will drive business satisfaction with IT. Once the process is working efficiently, staff will be more motivated to adhere to the process, reducing the number of unauthorized changes. As fewer changes bypass proper evaluation and testing, service disruptions will decrease and business satisfaction will increase.
  6. 6. Info-Tech Research Group 6Info-Tech Research Group 6 Change management improves core benefits to the business: the four C’s Change management brings daily control over the IT environment, allowing you to review every relatively new change, eliminate changes that would have likely failed, and review all changes to improve the IT environment. Request for change templates and a structured process shapes implementation, test, and back-out plans to be more consistent. Implementing processes for pre-approved changes also ensures these frequent changes are executed consistently and efficiently. Change management planning brings increased communication and collaboration across groups by coordinating changes with business activities. The Change Advisory Board (CAB) also brings a more formalized and centralized communication method for IT. Change management processes will give your organization more confidence through more accurate planning, improved execution of changes with less failure, and control over the IT environment. This also leads to greater protection against audits. Most organizations have at least some form of change control in place, but formalizing change management leads to the four C’s of business benefits: 1 3 2 4 Control Consistency Collaboration Confidence
  7. 7. Info-Tech Research Group 7Info-Tech Research Group 7 You likely need to improve change management more than any other infrastructure & operations process 8.9 8 8.4 8.7 8.4 8.2 7.9 8.6 7.1 6.1 6.3 6.5 6.2 5.8 5.4 6.1 0 2 4 6 8 10 Service Desk Asset Management Operations Management Incident & Problem Management Availability & Capacity Management Release Management Configuration Management Change Management Effectiveness Importance Source: Info-Tech; N=3,285 Of the eight infrastructure & operations processes measured in Info-Tech’s IT Management and Governance Diagnostic (MGD) program, change management tied for the biggest gap between importance and effectiveness of these processes. Twenty-one percent of organizations who have completed this diagnostic were classified as needing to improve change management based on these scores. More organizations need to improve change management than any other infrastructure & operations process.
  8. 8. Info-Tech Research Group 8Info-Tech Research Group 8 Executives and directors recognize the importance of change management, but feel theirs is currently ineffective Info-Tech’s IT Management and Governance Diagnostic program assesses the importance and effectiveness of core IT processes. Since its inception, the MGD has consistently identified change management as an area for immediate improvement. Importance Scores No Importance: 1.0-6.9 Limited Importance: 7.0-7.9 Significant Importance: 8.0-8.9 Critical Importance: 9.0-10.0 Source: Info-Tech; N=3,285 6.7 6.3 5.8 5.8 8.7 8.7 8.6 8.5 0.0 2.0 4.0 6.0 8.0 10.0 Frontline Manager Director Executive MGDScore Seniority Level Change Management - Effectiveness Change Management - Importance Effectiveness Scores Not in Place: N/A Not Effective: 0.0-4.9 Somewhat Ineffective: 5.0-5.9 Somewhat Effective: 6.0-6.9 Very Effective: 7.0-10.0
  9. 9. Info-Tech Research Group 9Info-Tech Research Group 9 You are not alone… Many organizations suffer from the lack of a defined change management process. We are always struggling with utilization, and I think [this] is because of a lack of user knowledge. – CIO, Claims Management Provider We found that people were making changes ad hoc into production. This would result in change-related incidents. – Senior Director, Technology and Managed Services By not pre-planning changes far in advance, we are forced to give the change management form at the eleventh hour (…) Because of these time frame issues, we don’t require proof of testing prior to change, and that’s a big gap. – Assistant Director of Technology Solutions, Municipal Government Services We only recognize dependencies after deployment. – Siebel Systems Administrator
  10. 10. Info-Tech Research Group 10Info-Tech Research Group 10 After: Right-Sized Change ManagementBefore: Informal Change Management Overcome perceived challenges to implementing change management to reap measurable reward  Change Approval: Changes do not pass through a formal review process before implementation.  10% of released changes are approved • Implementation Challenge: Staff will resist having to submit formal change requests and assessments, frustrated at the prospect of having to wait longer to have changes approved.  Change Prioritization: Changes are not prioritized according to urgency, risk, and impact.  60% of changes are urgent • Implementation Challenge: Influential stakeholders accustomed to having changes approved and deployed might resist having to submit changes to a standard cost-benefit analysis.  Change Deployment: Changes often negatively impact user productivity.  25% of changes are realized as planned. • Implementation Challenge: Engaging the business so that formal change freeze periods and regular maintenance windows can be established.  Change Approval: All changes pass through a formal review process. Once a change is repeatable and well- tested, it can be pre-approved to save time. Almost no unauthorized changes are deployed.  95% of changes are approved • KPI: Decrease in change-related incidents.  Change Prioritization: The CAB prioritizes changes so that the business is satisfied with the speed of change deployment.  35% of changes are urgent • KPI: Decrease in change turnaround time.  Change Deployment: Users are always aware of impending changes and changes do not interrupt critical business activities.  Over 80% of changes are realized as planned • KPI: Decrease in the number of failed deployments.
  11. 11. Info-Tech Research Group 11Info-Tech Research Group 11 Info-Tech’s approach to change management optimization focuses on building standardized processes Phase 1: Form Strategy Phase 2: Build Intake Process Phase 3: Build Core Processes Build risk prioritization and categorization scheme Assess CM maturity 1.2 1.1 Determine roles + responsibilities Build core change processes 2.2 2.1 Establish post- implementation activities Create change intake process 3.2 3.1 • Maturity Assessment Tool • Risk Assessment Tool • Core Process Workflows • Change Manager Job Description • RACI Chart & Role Descriptions • Request For Change Process • Request For Change (RFC) Form • Change Calendar Guidelines • Emergency Change Process Workflow Phase 4: Build Implementation Plan Implement project Identify metrics and build change calendar 4.2 4.1 • Metrics and Reports • Change Metrics Tool • Communication Plan • Executive Presentation • Implementation Gantt Chart • Sunshine Diagram Outcomes + Deliverables Change management standard operating procedures (SOP) • Pre-Implementation Checklist • Post-Implementation Review Checklist• CAB Charter
  12. 12. Info-Tech Research Group ‹#› Toll Free: 1-888-670-8889

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