Archive for June, 2008|Monthly archive page

Evolving the Change Management Process

Undocumented & uncontrolled changes? No visibility of changes for the business? Unable to gain or track approvals?

Here are some tips to better control & manage the Change Control and subsequent software and/or infrastructure Releases.

(1) Identify & Manage ALL Stakeholders
Identify & manage all stakeholders for each set of proposed changes. At a minimum this includes:

  • Change Initiator.
  • Change Advisory Board.
  • Project Manager(s).
  • Development/Infrastructure Manager(s).
  • Release Manager.

(2) Document the Process & Tools
Document the change management process, tools, and templates with examples. Provide the necessary know-how for all the stakeholders to better document, assess and approve changes. The key objective is to confirm that all changes are consistent with current business objectives. Therefore a business risk and impact analysis must be completed when a new change record is created.

(3) Provide a Checklist
Similar to the project Gating process, for each hand-off in the process, document a checklist contains steps that must be finished before the change can be promoted to the next level. This will ensure consistency in governance for changes in your environment.

(4) Circumvent Bureaucracy
If your organization has to cope with a large number of changes, a large number of people involved in the CABs with a large set of distributed changes, then chances are that the CAB review & approval process can become bureaucratic. A better Governance structure can be leveraged to mitigate any slowness. Ensure that your Change Management process includes various ‘levels’ of authority/approval before moving to the Change Approval Board. This can be achieved based on the impact of the change. If a specific change only impacts 1 system with little to no dependencies on other systems or users, then a global change control board may not be required to review, assess & approve such change. A Peer Approval may suffice.

Also, a Business+Technology alignment group can first review and approve changes to for CAB review to ensure that they are aligned with the overall business & IT strategy of the organization.

(5) Dedicated Change Manager
The Change Manager is responsible for ensuring that all changes are reviewed and ensuring that changes flow through the Change Management Process. The Change Manager chairs the CAB meetings and ensures that all changes are considered for approval & prioritization. This will ensure that all Change Management tasks are being performed and that the right people with the right skills can focus on these activities.

(6) Over Communicate
Getting the stakeholder buy-in and more importantly, their engagement is critical for success. Informing them about the process or giving them login account to the CM tool will not be enough. Re-enforce the value and benefits of adopting a standardized change control process. Communicate Roles & responsibilities frequently. Ensure that roles associated with the Change Management process are defined in the context of the change management function and are not intended to correspond with organizational job titles.

(7) Evolve the Process
Last but not least, capture feedback and implement continuous improvement to the overall process. Acknowledge & resolve any issues and concerns. Build temporary workarounds to ensure smooth operation. Above all, create a caring, positive atmosphere, where people can work hard and have fun!

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Top 10 Trends in Project Management

Here are the Top 10 Trends in Project Management according to a recent article published in Baseline Magazine. As the saying goes, “Trend is your Friend“. I wanted to share this with everyone and I hope it will help identify opportunities in your current job and organization.

I completely agree with the author’s points, especially the first one. With the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing today at its lowest finish in over 2 years, companies should revisit their Project Management metrics to identify enhancement opportunities for keeping projects on schedule and on budget.

1. Investment in project management training to counter effects of a troubled economy.

2. Better, faster project decision-making.

3. Critical thinking as a key project management competency.
Agree! See my earlier posts on Mindset and Strategic Planning.

4. Emerging relevance of the project management office.

5. Codependency between project management and enterprise analysis.

6. Project managers taking leadership roles in organizational change.

7. Communication challenges of remote team management.

8. Earning certification.

9. Navigating the overlap between PM and BA tasks.

10. Talent management’s impact on business ROI.

Here’s the link to the entire article:
http://www.baselinemag.com/c/a/Project-Management/10-Trends-in-Project-Management/