Thursday, 14 March 2013

Change Management – Common Challenges


I have had the good fortune to work in some environments where the Change Management process has been pretty solid, with some small exceptions. Sadly this is not always the case and in some organizations the process seems to be about as simple to organize as nailing jelly to a wall. The way to make improvements on these is to break down what’s working well and what areas need some improvements
Let’s review a few of the common issues that manifest and ways in which we can navigate around them.

Challenge 1 - Change Management has value
While it is more common today than ever that people see the true value of a change management process. There are always going to be those who don’t agree. It is to that degree that we need to provide metrics which support the reduction of service outages as a result of failed changes. As well as reinforcing that we are protecting the business while making changes to their environments.

Challenge 2 - Ensuring all changes are recorded
As everyone knows there is always a path of least resistance and the natural tendencies are to go that route. The trick here is to ensure that your change process is such that it covers off all requirements to successfully implementing a change, but that it also doesn’t impede the implementers with bottlenecks. Sub issue here is that depending on who you ask, will depend on what the bottlenecks really are. This transitions nicely into….

Challenge 3 – Who does (and should do) what?
At a practitioners forum I went to a while back I recall that one of the challenges an organization had revolved around the approval process for a legacy application. As it turned out in some cases it was not unheard of to have several dozen approvals. In reality many of these approvals were nested within the same functional group and were beyond redundant but this was the way it was set up. When they asked the business they didn’t even know why, “It was like this before I got here” is how they replied. This would be a good opportunity to go back to them and illiterates the value of streamlining this so that the bottlenecks could be reduced.

Challenge 4 – Organizational Scope
Depending on your organization you may, or may not, leverage your change process across the entire organization. This really depends on the maturity and culture of you organization. In many places they stick to the boundaries of IT with reluctance to move beyond its borders. To do that you really need to be able to articulate how the process has enabled the success of IT and where it can be beneficial to the business



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