By Chad Greenslade
I have often been asked about my lessons learned in implementing an IT Service Management (ITSM) tool. Below is the ninth in a ten part series examining my ITSM lessons learned. I hope that these lessons help you on your journey to ITSM nirvana.
Lesson #9: Have a good CAB. ITIL will tell you that the “Change Manager” is the only person that needs to approve a Request for Change (RFC). While this is literally true, the “Change Manager” must be advised by someone. That “someone” is the Change Approval Board (CAB). In reality, however, most ITSM platforms and organizational practices require the actual approval (recorded in the ITSM) system of many different stakeholders. What you want to avoid is folks who provide “rubber-stamp” approvals. You want approvals to be meaningful and reflective of a person’s true position of authority in the organization. Similar to the way some organizations skip the step of defining services or a service catalog, many organizations will take shortcuts in defining who should approve an RFC. As I mentioned in Lesson #5, every service and CI should have an owner. When an RFC is raised and the requestor of that RFC selects the services and CIs that are impacted by the RFC, the owners should be notified by the ITSM tool that a new RFC has been raised against their service or CI and that their approval is required. In my professional opinion, these are the only three (3) persons that should approve an RFC; the service owners, the CI owners, and the Change Manager. I fully endorse the concept of the CAB advising the Change Manager, but approvals from CAB members are not necessary.