IT Governance

7 Tips to Become a Top-Level Change Manager

Change managers ensure that changes are integrated smoothly, safely, and efficiently. But as with anything, change managers could improve upon their own processes so they can be as effective as possible. In a post at his website, Joe the IT Guy describes the tips that take a change manager from good to outstanding:

  1. Create a change policy.
  2. Get to know your environment.
  3. Make it easy to raise changes.
  4. Set the right CAB agenda.
  5. Own the CAB rather than just administrate it.
  6. Don’t forget project management.
  7. Tell people about forthcoming change.

Counting on Change

Joe’s first tip is to have a change policy. This policy should be flexible enough to respond to different business needs while aligning with company standards. There will always be emergencies that pop up, so make sure your policy accounts for last-minute changes that need to be implemented.

You should also get a feel for your environment and how the changes you implement are going to impact the other things about the company. Looking at the individual parts these changes will affect can help you make the right calls when it comes to what changes to implement. You are of course looking to make people’s lives easier rather than harder in the long term. Likewise, you must make it easy to raise changes too; if it takes too long to raise a change, people might opt to just work around your processes instead.

When it comes to your change advisory board (CAB), Joe says to set the right agenda for meetings. This agenda should contain as many pertinent details as possible to keep everyone up to speed, and it should enable meeting attendees to prepare as needed. You need to take charge of you CAB meetings to ensure that everyone gets the most out of the meeting. This means not wasting time on extraneous details and instead focusing on some more hard-hitting question, like these examples:

  • Pre-change testing – how do we know this change will go as planned?
  • Deployment plan – does it make sense? If other teams are involved, are they aware and do we have contact details for them? Are there any areas of concern where we might need check-point calls or additional support to mitigate risk?
  • Post-implementation checks – how do we ensure that everything is as it should be now that the change is live?
  • What’s the remediation plan? Do we fix-on-fail or rollback?
  • What is the impact to other environments including disaster recovery?

Open lines of communication between departments should be maintained in order to keep everyone in-the-know about upcoming changes. Attending weekly project management meetings can help in this area.

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