What is Change Management?

Change Management is the process of requesting, planning, executing and evaluating changes to a system. The two main goals of a change management principle are to upkeep the process of changes and support traceability of changes. 

Dependencies and regularly occurring changes make businesses and IT ecosystems more complex. Change Management principles empower the link of change and project management. Applying Change management principles help business leaders manage systems, processes, company structures, job roles and responsibilities, and the general optimism in the course of alteration within a company.

Many things can be labeled as Change - From the rearranging of business goals to becoming more effectual for customers and dealing with bulk throughput situations, efficient change management principles unswervingly affect an organization’s general business and welfare. Changes can make or break a business and business frontrunners are pressed to decide how they are going to go about managing departments and divisions through the selected shake-up. One of the major accomplishments connected with change management is to make everyone – right from senior management to teams of all levels to accept and become comfortable with the change. If the people in the business are not clear about the way forward ensured by the change, then systems and provisions within the trade can collapse. This makes it grave for an organization to have skillful resources in place to manage all of the practices associated with the change.

One of the most noteworthy characteristics of change is to transport the message of what exactly is the change, and the consequence of it. If the employees are unaware or kept in the dark about what a new assignment brings or how the establishment will fill new roles that have unpredictably become available, people can make up their personal opinions about what is going to come about.

Change management principles also impose an organization’s frontrunners to identify key participants; these can be senior administrators, department heads, or influential employees. Then leaders need to form trust involving these individuals to help convey the messaging of the change and how the organization is getting equipped to address it. This type of administration also licenses leaders to make a case for why the change is essential and set the predictions for what employees can expect going forward.

In the ITIL framework, change management is one of the key processes of the Service Transition phase. Other practices that work in tandem with change management in the Service Transition stage comprise:

Largely, the Service Transition phase oversees service and product delivery. In this phase, change management helps to express control over the development of change across all procedures involved in Service Transition. The transition itself takes place as products or services are moved from the organization to the client in completed form.

By design, governing the life cycle empowers a team to make constructive changes to the service delivery model devoid of disrupting business. This team is known as the Change Advisory Board, or in short, CAB.

In ITIL, change management centres on limiting business risk produced because the following two purposes of the framework are in competition:

Objective 1: Providing dependable services with a solidity that clients can rely on.

Objective 2: Providing flexible facilities that can change swiftly with the needs of a client.

As much as some companies may try to repel the convention of a change advisory board, meeting both of these intentions means accepting the ITIL change management process as a best practice.

What is Change Advisory Board (CAB)?

CAB – known officially as the Change Advisory Board, is a cluster of people who are tasked with assessing changes to the IT setting. It can be as modest as an email distribution list, or as strict as a Chairman-led, take-minute, raise-your-hand-to-speak board. The culture and the occupational needs of the organization regulate what’s appropriate.

The Change Advisory Board (CAB) consists of technical staff and crucial decision-makers. There are no set rules for who’s on the CAB. The Change Manager guarantees the right people with the right information, knowledge, and backgrounds are there to effectually review every change.

It’s not unusual for Subject Matter Experts to be called in to help review and recommend on detailed Change Requests because of the nature of the Change. (For example, a Senior Network engineer is called upon for router changes.)

‘CAB’ and ‘Change Management’ do not mean the same. Change Advisory Board (CAB) is engrossed exclusively on appraising Change Requests for risk and unintentional consequences and advising the Change Manager of their conclusions and endorsements. Change Management is the larger capacity that manages the complete process of raising, reviewing, gauging, approving, pursuing and supervising all changes.


Change Advisory Board (CAB) Members

The Change Advisory Board (CAB) is usually made up of numerous high-level members. These comprise the following:

Service Desk Analyst

A Service Desk Analyst handles service calls, documents incidents and escalates to a Service Desk Manager. Either the Analyst or the Manager can partake as a member of the Change Advisory Board (CAB). He or she will offer awareness as to collective issues with service delivery and how to resolve them.

Operation Managers

Any Ops Managers accountable for the day-to-day administration of the organization might be involved in the Change Advisory Board (CAB).

Application Manager / Engineer

The Application Manager is in charge of overseeing the development and arrangement of applications. This role offers high-level acumen on products offered to internal or external clientele.

Information Security Officer

Information Security Officers bring about the day-to-day features of network security and provide knowledge of probable threats or susceptibilities to applications and systems.

Senior Network Engineer

Network Administrators supervise and manage a company’s networks and cloud infrastructures. Senior engineers are typically required to bring a particular number of years of quality practice to the Change Advisory Board (CAB) table.

Business Relationship Managers

Business Relationship Managers work directly with clients, generally in a B2B setting, but they could also work with direct to customer services. These specialists offer insight into the client’s wants and needs.

Characteristics of a Change Advisory Board (CAB) Team

The Change Advisory Board (CAB) team is made up of a varied group of business leaders and high authority personalities through the organization. Think of the Change Advisory Board (CAB) as a dedicated group of individuals who exemplify certain characteristics to meet operative objectives.

These characteristics include:

Goals of the Change Advisory Board (CAB)

In a textbook ITIL framework, all changes in the making will be brought through the Change Advisory Board (CAB) for assessment, since the decisive goal of the CAB is to certify quality release. This is accomplished by keeping the following objectives in mind during the operations process.

Functions of the Change Advisory Board (CAB)

The Change Advisory Board (CAB) regularly recommends change managers based on the goals of the group itemized above. Nevertheless, it is significant to note that the Change Advisory Board (CAB) does not have the power to function as an evaluation and approval board. In its place, the advisory board judiciously acts on a number of procedures as follows:

Change Advisory Board (CAB) functions also comprise of intermittent revisiting of meeting minutes. During these reviews of previous meetings, the CAB reviews:


Change Advisory Board (CAB) Operations

The Change Manager is characteristically in charge of conducting Change Advisory Board (CAB) meetings which can be held on a systematic schedule that takes into account the magnitude of the organization and resources. Usually, meetings are arranged on a monthly basis, but they could also be essential on a weekly or daily basis.

Meeting Agenda

Meetings regularly open by studying the previous meeting minutes as defined in the previous section. The agenda could look something like this:

Change Managers can program emergency Change Advisory Board (CAB) meetings to report urgent needs. These commonly arise from incidents that take place in the Service Transition process. For a crisis meeting to be called, the incident has to signify some problem or breach that would influence critical business tasks.

As with all Change Advisory Board (CAB) mediations, only the change manager has the right to make a final sanction of change, even in an emergency state.

Change Advisory Board (CAB) & ITSM

Both ITIL and ISO 20000 offer solutions that work in tandem to enhance IT Service Management, also known as ITSM. While ISO 20000 and other ITSM assets do not require a Change Advisory Board (CAB), it is suggested that establishments include this ITIL best practice as part of their ITSM strategy. Most frameworks offer precise guidelines that must be achieved with regards to change management, ISO 20000 included. These recommendations are applied by fulfilling the goals and functions of the CAB.

Change Advisory Board (CAB): A Necessary Piece of the ITIL Framework

Most of all, the Change Advisory Board (CAB) offers a prescribed way to make steady, reliable services supplier to meet the needs of the organization and clients, equally.

That said, organizations, from time to time, struggle to get on board with forming a CAB for a few reasons.

First, business leaders can be doubtful of governance. People often misinterpret Change Advisory Board (CAB) as a board that deals in sanctions and denials causing red tape and barriers. In reality, CAB only stands to counsel Change Managers on the best resolutions after assessing all risks. Further, the assortment of a Change Advisory Board (CAB) panel offers a number of perceptions that make this process enriching.

Next, some businesses do not implement the Change Advisory Board (CAB) because they struggle with the ITIL change management process as a whole. They may implement only one or two parts of the change management process as they see fit. On the other hand, this sometimes dismisses best practices required to review, observe and implement change, like the creation of a Change Advisory Board (CAB).