We all know that an IT organization’s effectiveness is significantly impacted by change. Be it an installation of new hardware, replacement of networking devices, or deployment of software upgrades, change is good; however, everytime something changes there’s a chance for failure because something that worked before may suddenly stop working.
Change management strategy is so important that there should be people who are in charge of it in your organization (usually a configuration manager). But, some of us don’t manage change well. Here are some questions to ask yourself to see if you’re managing change appropriately:
- Do you know what’s changed in your environment today? During the past week? During the past month?
- Do you monitor your environment for unauthorized changes? Do people get fired for making unauthorized changes?
- Do you have a formal process for configuration management so that changes are duly authorized before they’re implemented?
- Can you describe your change control process to your current employees? How about new employees? How do you tell people what they are allowed to change versus not?
If you don’t have effective change and configuration management policies and procedures in place, your job as a technology manager will be tough at best and very stressful at worst. I’ve been to customer sites where things work fine one day and then stop working the next because of unauthorized configuration changes. If that’s happened to you, do yourself a favor and put in some change management policies. You’ll sleep better at night.
Something as simple as a Change Control Board (CCB) that meets weekly to go over change requests along with installation of an issue tracking system is a great way to start.