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24.07.2014
Within IT Operations, the two most critical functions for ensuring consistent, stable and quality services and products are Change Management, followed by Project Management. Do the cost analysis of achieving excellence in design and development versus reactive service management, then reap the rewards with market and customer trust and respect. Does anyone recall the days when a developer or server support techo grappled with a non-user-friendly change management tool to rush through a late change request, chasing change approvers in a "Friday afternoon rush" to beat the Change cut-off?
Hopefully, times have changed in most organisations where total ownership and involvement of staff in the success of changes is engendered across all teams, in the same manner we involve them in Continuous Improvement.. Widespread consultation, surveys and evaluation of feedback are key starting points for understanding change process complexity, risks and impact costs due to change failure as well as ill-conceived implementation windows.
Providing training in the value of regimented Change Control practices, along with constant communication across all areas, staff and stakeholders involved in change is also vital to Change Management improvement initiatives.
These days, there is no shortage of sound and practical guidance and methodology on IT Change processes, roles and responsibilities.


The following diagram attempts to capture the many activities, roles and responsibilities in a medium to large IT organisation, and allows us to build a baseline Job profile and description for the critical IT Change Manager Role. Whilst many may feel this map is too complex  for a Small Business, possibly with only a few technical staff in the IT Operations team, it would be very wise to consider and work through the same processes and practices. Our process map will be catalogued as a baseline edition, and we welcome all feedback and member comments, to be considered in further reviews. Verbose implementation plans, UAT and back-out plans that were comensurate with the size and complexity of the change generlly sufficed to "fool" the smart checks of the change tool as well as the sanity checks of the Change Analyst. If this is not apparent, and change implementation outcomes are not totally successful 99.99% of the time - then the Change Management system and the IT Change Manager have some great opportunities and challenges to improve the success rate. The following diagram gives a typical example of areas that are involved, or impacted by changes. They are covered well in the Service Transition phase of ITIL V3, and there a also numerous online training resources (many free).


If you perfect these functions, you will then start to modify your strategies for product design, development and project management.
We've also split the Change Cycle into foour sections, and mapped these to the four stages of the well know P-D-C-A Continuous Improvement cycle.
You can't fool the customer, and delude yourself if you claim that these costs are absorbed internally.



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