What are we supposed to talk about at CAB? What should be on the CAB agenda?
If you have a CAB in place, or just getting started with Basic IT Change Management, here are five things that should always be on every CAB agenda.
Standing agenda items:
1. Review new Requests for Change (RFC)
This is the heart and soul of the CAB meeting – presenting and initial review of proposed changes. Make sure the Change Requestor, key decision makers, and any technical experts representing the change will be on hand to answer questions about the proposed change.
Be sure to send the list of RFCs for review out to CAB members and invited guests as soon as possible so members have time to prepare and ask questions in advance.
The Change Manager is responsible to make sure appropriate Subject Matter Experts are in attendance to ensure all aspects of the change can be evaluated.
2. Review Changes implemented since last CAB
CAB is responsible for the lifecycle of all changes – which means that approved and implemented changes are still under change control. CAB should be in the habit of discussing the success or failure of each approved change.
For failed and rolled back changes, CAB will want to understand why it didn’t go as expected, and determine if any follow up actions are required. CAB should be in a continual improvement mode, and each failed change is a potential opportunity to improve the effectiveness of the change management process.
Many organizations hold a mandatory Post Implementation Review, especially for significant or highly visible changes. This is an excellent practice, but is best done outside of CAB (often as part of the project management process), and results presented at CAB.
This agenda item is important to solidify CAB’s role in managing the entire change lifecycle (and not just a rubber stamp committee.)
3. Review Standard Changes
Standard Changes are preapproved, low impact changes that are authorized for use as needed in daily operations.
Standard Changes are reviewed by CAB both initially for acceptance, and also if/as issues arise in operations and services are impacted. In that case, CAB reviews the Standard Change in question and determines if the approved process requires modification.
4. Review Change Schedule
The Change Schedule should be consulted when considering individual changes. It’s also important to review the overall schedule for any potential conflicts, incompatibility issues, and improper sequencing of complex changes.
Be sure to compare change schedules with vacation calendars, staff training classes, or other activities that may take critical staff away when needed for change-related operational duties. (i.e. Jessica is the change implementer and goes on vacation the next day.)
Business schedules and cycles must also be considered. Be on the lookout for month, quarter, year end times, holiday sales peaks, etc. CAB should be aware of unusual business activities. (Trade shows, special sales promotions, product launches, or other non cyclical business patterns.)
5. Continual Service Improvement (CSI) Opportunities
Because of the critical nature of Change Management, CAB should be on the look out for opportunities to improve the Change Management process and the work of the CAB.
This needn’t be a complex or difficult task. A simple CSI Register – a list of ideas for improvements that gets prioritized, assigned, and reviewed until implemented.
What’s on your agenda?
An unstructured CAB can be unproductive and frustrating for staff, creating unneeded pushback. Build your CAB agenda and keep it consistent.
A consistent agenda helps staff know what to expect and come prepared.