IT Governance

Does Your IT Department Need a CAB?

Where there is change, there are dependencies to consider. One of the most straightforward ways to assess a proposed change in IT is to build a change advisory board (CAB) to handle it. In a post at SITS, Peter Hubbard explains the ins and outs of CABs to help you decide if you should establish one.

Only Making Good Changes

In some ways, a CAB is a party pooper, but a highly valued one. It identifies and evaluates the risks involved in proposed changes before they can cause unexpected damage. Typically, a CAB is helmed by an organizational change manager, and several other people who might be a part of it include network engineers, senior application development engineers, operation managers, service desk managers, information security officers, and business relationship managers, among others.

As for how to actually conduct a CAB meeting, Hubbard says this:

A CAB meeting requires preparation before the event, and the relevant Follow-Up after.  It is not a point in time exercise, or something that can be made up on the spot. It is important that an agenda is created to guide the topics for discussion and set expectation.  This goes beyond simply ‘what changes will be discussed this week,’ and into other areas, such as ongoing projects, planned releases, etc. …

Establishing the expectations of the meeting, as well as having scheduled timelines, will be incredibly helpful.  It means that everyone will get into the CAB meeting knowing what will happen, and by when it will happen.

A CAB meeting will ideally fall into a range of 30 to 45 minutes, so keep discussion flowing around important points and do not let conversation get hung up on things that are too technical. A CAB needs to feel like a body that pushes progress, not an inhibitor or an iron gate. If people dread the CAB, then the CAB is not good enough yet.

For additional tips and examples, you can view the original post here:

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