The Best of Service Transition, Part 1

We continue our "Best of" blog services by moving into Service Transition

Who is the Change Initiator?
Originally Published on July 21, 2010

The “change initiator” is the individual or group that is requesting the change. Change initiators could be users, suppliers or IT staff – depending on the nature of the proposed change. It is the change initiator’s responsibility to justify the reasons for making the change. 

However, since the change initiator may not understand all of the risks associated with a seemingly innocuous change, some type of impact assessment should occur.  The assessment could be very simple and quick - or extensive- based on the scope of the change and business processes that are potentially affected.

The change authority (CAB, Steering Committee, local CABs, etc.) assesses the impact of the propose change and determines if the change is necessary or beneficial.  Impact could be negative or positive and should consider cost/benefit, resources required or risk. While ITIL does not assign a specific role to the “change assessor”, the role is an extension of the CAB.   You can also authorize experts to assess and approve technical changes  – however be wary of relying too heavily on a single person to make the call.   They may develop "tunnel vision" and only consider risk from within their own domain.  Potential residual risks may be overlooked.

One individual can serve multiple roles.  Change assessors may also be responsible for ultimately performing or implementing the change.  ITIL calls that role a “release analyst”. 

Change models are particularly helpful to change initiators, change authorities and release analyst. You can create models for common types of changes (from low risk to high risk).  The model will pre-define the steps and procedures needed to request, assess and implement that type of change.

Comments

Matthew McNair said…
I have a very specific question that is causing a stupid amount of debate within our organisation.

Our SAP team send's our Database team a request to grow there database in size.

As the request would span over multiple teams (Database team to grow the database, storage team to allocate more storage) and would require an outage to SAP and impact the business the database team requests the SAP team to raise a change and be the change initiator.

There logic is that the SAP team own the relationship with the business and know the details of when the business can accept an outage.

I think there logic is sound; but the SAP team believe as it related to Database's the Database team should be the change initiator.

Any thoughts on this?
Matthew McNair said…
I have a very specific question that is causing a stupid amount of debate within our organisation.

Our SAP team send's our Database team a request to grow there database in size.

As the request would span over multiple teams (Database team to grow the database, storage team to allocate more storage) and would require an outage to SAP and impact the business the database team requests the SAP team to raise a change and be the change initiator.

There logic is that the SAP team own the relationship with the business and know the details of when the business can accept an outage.

I think there logic is sound; but the SAP team believe as it related to Database's the Database team should be the change initiator.

Any thoughts on this?
Given the circumstances that you described, I believe the SAP Team is the change initiator. Here’s my logic:

- The SAP team is requesting the increase in database size, therefore “initiating the change”
- The SAP team is delivering the end service to the customer and therefore owns the business relationship
- The SAP team “owns” the end to end service and therefore are the recipient of the results.

If any other team requests a change that has an impact on SAP services, then the SAP team should be alerted.

Hope this helps,

ITSM Professor

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