Move from change control to change facilitation

ITSM Review quoted me from Pink16 as saying
"Change Management needs to move from Change control to Change facilitation”.
This is referring of course to IT operational Change Management.

A client challenged me as to how.
My answer: One Principle - Shift Left.
By shifting actions, controls, and accountability left in the value stream we take the load off Change Management allowing it to move from a protective controlling function as the last line of defence before production; to a facilitation role functioning like an air traffic controller ensuring that as much change happens as fast as possible.

We make this possible with tactics such as the following:

  • Automation of change controls in automation of flow. Show change management that all the checks they would have performed are being done for them.
  • Empowerment of Build teams to execute the controls themselves.
  • Smaller more frequent increments. Practice until releases are boring.
  • Make build teams accountable for assessing risk of Change and hold them accountable if the risk assessment is too optimistic. Why did we ever think that change managers were qualified to assess the risk of a change?
  • Quality should be baked in. It is not a separate stage or accountability. Change should not be a quality assurance function.

This is discussed in more depth by Stuart Rance

Ultimately IT operational change management goes away entirely, but we'll discuss that another day.

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