Fall 2011 [Number 251] Printable version (262 KB PDF) Download Adobe Reader Please note that this issue of Interface is an archived issue. Therefore, the information contained in each article may no longer be current.
As part of its continuing journey into ITIL implementation (see Interface 247 for details), CIT conducted an ITIL assessment in the spring of 2010 to determine the current state of the initiative and plan for the next steps going forward. From this assessment, CIT leadership identified having a centralized, federated Information Technology (IT) Change Management (CM) process as a top priority.
Change Management provides a structured and controlled process to ensure effective impact assessment and scheduling for the introduction of change. Through consideration of both business and technical criteria, the Change Management process can significantly reduce risks and minimize the impact of change.
In August 2010, the key change managers from CIT's operational divisions came together in a working group chartered to develop CIT's first-ever centralized Change Management process.
Federating CIT's Change Management processes
Each CIT division already had at least one change management (CM) process in place and some divisions had several processes depending on the branch and/or the technology involved. The lack of a central process allowing for center-wide review of riskier changes was identified as a gap.
The working group looked at the different processes currently in place, considered several examples of change failure at CIT, and developed metrics to measure CM process effectiveness. These metrics included total number of changes, outcome of changes, number of incidents per change, and number of unannounced changes that have adverse impact. CIT is still working to fully and effectively capture all these measures.
Next, the group set out to negotiate a central process. In April 2011, the new federated Change Management process received final management approval. The process did not replace the existing processes within the divisions, but merely added an additional layer of review for those changes that met predefined escalation criteria. Implementation of the new CM process was set for July 1, 2011.
Testing, implementation, and beyond
The week before the July 1st launch, CIT performed a dry run with a set of test CIT Change Requests (CCRs), using this as an opportunity to "kick the tires" on the process and make sure there were no unforeseen snags. The test drive culminated on June 29th with a pizza-laden kickoff meeting of the new CIT Change Advisory Board (CAB), attended by Al Whitley, Deputy Director, CIT.
As of mid-August, the CAB had reviewed eight CCRs, provided input to the redesign of the IT Maintenance & Outage Calendar (see the Change Management at NIH article in this issue), and assumed management of the annual CIT end-of-fiscal-year change moratorium (see related article in this issue: End of Fiscal Year Brings Annual CIT Change Moratorium).
Additionally, the CAB has implemented metrics to measure process efficiency, capturing how long it takes to approve a CCR (turnaround), how far in advance of the planned maintenance CCRs are submitted (lead time), and percentage of total changes reviewed by the CAB.
Going forward, the CAB will be reconvening the CIT working group in early fall to review the process's effectiveness, determine what adjustments need to made, and decide what the next phase of Change Management at CIT will look like. Stay tuned for details!
If you have any questions about change management at CIT, please contact the NIH IT Service Desk at 301-496-4357, 301-496-8294 (TTY), or 866-319-4357 (toll free), or online at http://itservicedesk.nih.gov/support/.
|Published by Center for Information Technology, National Institutes of Health|
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