Assessing the Change Management Process

Any particular instance of an IT operations change management process exists along a maturity spectrum. The questions below are largely adapted from those published by the itSMF in regards to ITILv2 and can help to map that level of maturity.

1.      Process Preconditions

1.1.    Has the purpose and benefits of change management been disseminated within the organization?

1.2.    Has the scope of change management activity been established within the organization?

1.3.    Does the organization have standards or other quality criteria for the raising and registering of changes?

1.4.    Is there some type of change management activity in the organization, e.g. logging of change requests, change assessments, change planning, change implementation reviews, etc.?

1.5.    Does change management have a defined process owner?

1.6.    Is there a procedure for raising and issuing requests for change?

1.7.    Does management provide support, commitment and resources to the Change Management function?

 

2.      Process Capability

2.1.    Have responsibilities for various change management activities been assigned?

2.2.    Is the entire change process documented, to include requesting, documenting, presenting, approving, executing and reviewing?

2.3.    Are the procedures for initiating change always adhered to?

2.4.    Does the process define and distinguish between types of Changes (standard, normal and emergency) and classify accordingly? Does the process support control mechanisms for building different types of Change?

2.5.    Does the process trigger the appropriate risk management strategy based on the classification of Change?

2.6.    Is there a procedure for approving, verifying and scheduling changes?

2.7.    Are the business and technical impacts of changes always assessed?

2.8.    Is change progress monitored adequately by Change Management?

2.9.    Is the successful implementation of a change confirmed by Change Management?

2.10.  Are all changes initiated through the agreed change management channels, for example a Change Advisory Board (CAB)?

2.11.  Are changes planned and prioritized, centrally or by common agreement?

2.12.  Are change records maintained to reflect the progress of changes?

2.13.  Are the reasons for change failure explicitly recorded and evaluated?

2.14.  Are successful changes reviewed against the original business needs?

2.15.  Are formal change records maintained?

2.16.  Is a change schedule (Forward Schedule of Changes, or FSC) of approved changes routinely issued?

2.17.  Are standard reports on changes produced on a regular basis?

2.18.  Are there established standards for documenting changes?

2.19.  Is Change Management automated, and if so, is the application effective and efficient?

 

3.      Inter-Process Integration

3.1.    Does the organization hold regular meetings with interested parties in which Change Management matters are discussed?

3.2.    Does Change Management exchange information with Configuration Management regarding change progress and change closure?

3.3.    Does Change Management exchange information with Configuration Management regarding change impact assessment on configuration items?

3.4.    Does Change Management exchange information with Problem Management regarding changes required to resolve problems / known errors?

3.5.    Does Change Management exchange information with Problem Management regarding progress reporting and for receiving problem escalation reports?

3.6.    Does Change Management exchange information with Problem Management regarding obtaining problem information relating to change?

3.7.    Does Change Management exchange information with the Service Desk for notification of change progress?

3.8.    Does Change Management exchange information with the Service Desk for notification of change schedule?

3.9.    Does Change Management exchange information with the Service Desk for assessing impact of change on Service Desk support levels?

3.10.  Does Change Management exchange information with the Service Desk for obtaining information concerning incidents and calls relating to change?

3.11.  Does Change Management exchange information with Release Management concerning change implementation?

3.12.  Does Change Management exchange information with Release Management concerning the notification and scheduling of software and hardware releases?

3.13.  Does Change Management exchange information with Service Level Management regarding the change schedule?

3.14.  Does Change Management exchange information with Service Level Management regarding potential change impact on service level agreements?

3.15.  Does Change Management exchange information with BC/DR Management for notification of change schedule?

3.16.  Does Change Management exchange information with BC/DR Management for assessing impact of change on contingency plans?

3.17.  Does Change Management exchange information with Capacity Management regarding performance and capacity issues relating to change?

 

4.      Quality Control          

4.1.    Are there standards and other quality criteria for the documentation of change made explicit and applied?

4.2.    Are the personnel responsible for change management activities suitably trained?

4.3.    Does the organization set and review either targets or objectives for Change Management?

4.4.    Does the organization use any tools to support the change management process?

 

5.      Reporting

5.1.    Does Change Management produce a Forward Schedule of Changes (FSC) at least weekly?

5.2.    Does Change Management provide relevant information concerning nature and reasons behind requests for changes received?

5.3.    Does Change Management provide relevant information concerning the change schedule?

5.4.    Does Change Management provide relevant information concerning number of changes?

5.5.    Does Change Management provide pertinent information concerning number of successful and failed changes?

5.6.    Does Change Management provide pertinent information concerning business impact of changes?

5.7.    Does Change Management provide pertinent information concerning change slippage (including backlogs and bottlenecks)?

5.8.    Does Change Management provide pertinent information concerning number of problem record initiated changes?

 

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