Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Change Control or Out of Control?

So I am sitting here in out lovely change control (CC) meeting thinking about why we were here.  Historically CC was nothing more than a email notification a week before your change.  This allowed notification to interested parties.  The problems were knowing who to notify and multiple changes happening at the same time affecting each other.  For example a LAN upgrade during a domain prep operation.

Can you see the Starbucks cups laying around after that one ? 

So the knee jerk reaction was to have a three phase approach which takes 3 weeks to complete.

Phase 1) ask for permission to even work on it.  This allowed all the neigh sayers to offer another vendor's solution instead of yours.  From first phase you come out with a approval to start looking at solutions and everyone is notified of your intent.  The problem is most of the time the product is laid on your lap and you are told to go do it.  There is no vendor selection needed at that point.

Phase 2) Present the technical, timing, and resources details  needed to complete this task.  This is to ensure that every detail has been covered.

Phase 3) Scheduling all changes.  The problem is you end up explaining everything again.

What would I do?  I would have two phases 

Phase 1) the email that would act like a RFC.  Propose your change, vendor / product selection.  If someone wants to look at a different angle, speak now or forever hold your peace.

Phase 2) combine the technical review with the scheduling meeting from there if all is ok you can proceed with the change.  If not, research and fix the issue exposed in the meeting.

This way there is only 1 meeting instead of 3 (because we all have time to attend 3 meetings explain the same thing), everyone is notified and a change can be completed quickly.

So how is your CC setup?

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