Assessing and Evaluating the Change

All changes need to be assessed and evaluated.  Changes that are considered significant should be subject to a normal change evaluation in which we have well defined criteria for making this determination.  In this blog we will focus on the assessment side of the equation.

A logical place to begin assessing the impact of changes on services and configuration assets would be the use of the "Seven Rs of Change Management".  Without these questions being answered a proper impact assessment could not be completed.  When leading an impact and resource assessment several items should be considered.  At the top of the chart we need to determine if there will be an impact to the customer's business operations.  Next we might want to know what the effect will be on infrastructure, individual customer services and their performance, reliability, security, continuity and ability to handle various levels of demand.  Additionally we will need to understand what the current change schedule looks like, do we have any projected service outage (PSO) scheduled, and how do we plan to communicate this change to the stakeholders.  We also need to understand the IT and business resources required for the change and how long those resources will be engaged.  Finally what would the impact be if we do not undertake this change?

The focus should be on identifying and acknowledging the factors that could impact the ability of the service provider to deliver service warranties and for the company to carry out its business goals and objectives.  Responsibility for assessing each change should be clearly assigned to the appropriate change authority.  This will vary within each organization given the diversity in size, complexity and uniqueness of each business.

Change Management is responsible for ensuring that changes are properly assessed and evaluated for risk and impact and that if authorized, must be suitably developed, tested, implemented and finally reviewed.  The one thing that must be ingrained in all change processes is that no change can be undertaken without risk.

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