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Five Changes that Require CAB (Change Authorization Board) Approval

12/01/2011 by: The SunView Team

Given that most IT organizations are being driven to change and evolve at an ever quickening pace, there is a need to process more RFCs with less overhead in order to stay in front of the business demands. As you learned in ITIL 101, the general goal of Change Management is the review, approval, and implementation of changes in a controlled manner, and that does not mean every change goes through the CAB for review.

Already for most organizations, weekly CAB meetings don't cut it-the pace of change is just too fast. With a large portion of our days already spent in meetings, clearly longer or more frequent CAB meetings cannot be the answer. Instead, with the high volume and quick pace IT faces today, the challenge is how to systematically identify those requests that necessitate formal CAB review from those that can perhaps be approved from your smart phone in between levels of Angry Birds.

Many organizations already have criteria for certain requests that allow them to be implemented without explicit approval (self-approval). For those changes that are most routine and low risk, it is good enough to just document that the change was made. Beyond self-approval, most ChangeGear customers leverage the configurability of ChangeGear's approval process to allow certain types of changes and risk levels to be driven to virtual CABs by leveraging Approval Groups combined with the dynamic roles. For example, a virtual CAB team can be assembled based on the type of change, system impacted, and risk of the ticket-dynamically pulling in the respective Technical and Business owners of the system to make sure they sign off on the change. Using this approach to target the review and approval to those impacted will help ensure proper consideration in a timely manner.

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Ultimately though, certain changes do need the review that only a formal CAB meeting can provide. Even though tools like ChangeGear permit the business owner of the system to approve from their smart phone, some tickets do need formal consideration by a group. Which techniques can be used to automatically sort out these tickets? Below are some suggested criteria.

Which tickets require formal CAB meeting approval?
  1. Tickets that impact more than one business service
  2. Tickets that impact critical business services (if you use ChangeGear's CMDB, this can be automated)
  3. Tickets put up for automatic group approval that are not approved within a given period of time-if the group can't reach a consensus in an allotted time, bring them to the CAB meeting
  4. Tickets where the amount of time or resources required are greater than a given threshold
  5. Specific types of changes that have a bad track record
In summary, many change requests do not need formal CAB meeting discussion and by leveraging the features of your change management tool, you should be able to route those for either self-approval or to a virtual CAB team that approves outside of a meeting. For riskier change requests, you can create triggers to route approvals to a formal CAB meeting.

| ITIL / IT Service Management