In today's fast-paced world of enterprise technology, the Change Advisory Board (CAB) is losing its significance. And there are some that think is dead. However, it's pivotal to question whether it is the CAB itself that is becoming obsolete or if it is the concept of Change Management as a whole.
In a Live Session with Greg Sanker, a special episode of Ticket Volume, our IT podcast hosted by Matt Beran. They explored these ideas while discussing with a live audience who asked top-notch questions and offered insights on how organizations can effectively navigate and adapt to change, but more specifically how to improve Change Management.
With over a decade of experience in the ITSM industry, Greg Sanker holds the position of Director of IT Support at Taylor Morrison. He is not only a consultant but also a renowned speaker and author. Greg specializes in various domains such as ITIL, Organizational Management of Change, Global IT Operations, IT Operations Management, and Business Processes Alignment.
Don't miss out on the opportunity to tune in to the entire session featuring Sanker and the audience! Hence, you can register for our monthly live recordings, where you'll have the chance to participate and ask questions directly during the session.
How to improve Change Management
Change Management and Change Enablement are vital for businesses to maintain competitiveness and achieve success. Rather than considering it as a series of individual tasks, organizations should view it as a continuous flow that they engineer to meet their desired level of quality.
Sanker eagerly explained that to ensure successful change management, organizations must match the required rate of speed, avoiding both exceeding it and lagging behind. Forbes Magazine listed the 10 biggest threats and risks for businesses in 2023 and the fourth threat is that market trends change rapidly, requiring companies to develop ultra-fast reaction times and use data/tech to make decisions.
This balance is necessary to effectively implement change while minimizing disruption and maintaining stability.
However, it often faces resistance and disrupts daily operations. Despite these challenges, effective Change Management is necessary for organizations to remain competitive and adapt to evolving market conditions. Hence, these are some of his key recommendations to improve it.
Adopting a value-based approach
To successfully manage change, organizations should evaluate changes based on their potential value. Sanker pointed out that Change Management means to deliver business value and results. Focusing on the benefits changes can increase employee buy-in and reduce resistance. This approach also prioritizes necessary and beneficial changes.
"Change Management happens in the value streams, not in some separate independent sort of source."
Collaboration is crucial for effective Change Management. Involving stakeholders from outside of IT, such as business leaders, employees, and customers, ensures all concerns are addressed. Such an inclusive technique promotes collaboration and fosters a collaborative culture. Risks are mitigated, and changes can be implemented smoothly when working together.
A way to go about this is by fostering productive dialogue. Encouraging active participation and constructive disagreement contributes to a more inclusive and collaborative environment, ultimately leading to better outcomes.
Technologies like AI and data analytics enhance change management efforts. These tools assess risks and provide insights for decision-making. For example, AI predicts real-time change risks, while data analytics assesses change impact on processes. Leveraging these technologies enables organizations to implement changes quickly and safely.
"Organizations are working on actively mining any related data so that they can make real-time predictions on what the risk level of any given change is so that you can act dynamically. (...) Let's call it artificial intelligence, but let's not get into that. Let's just say we're being really smart because humans are those subject matter experts."
And because change has changed, Sanker invited people to consider that artificial intelligence and leveraging the experiences of both customers and employees can revolutionize the way change is managed. Utilizing AI technologies and considering the needs and perspectives of those affected by the change, organizations can enhance their change management processes and improve outcomes.
Implementing a well-planned strategy
This includes mapping risks and developing assessment and mitigation strategies. Presenting the project plan to stakeholders, empowering self-organizing teams, and having a change manager for stakeholder calls are crucial. Additionally, he believes it’s better to avoid terms like "CAB" and using alternatives like "PMO" helps effectively manage risk.
To effectively manage risk while increasing velocity, organizations should have a well-defined plan in place and involve stakeholders throughout the change management process. Actively engaging stakeholders and considering their input helps identify potential risks and develop strategies to mitigate them.
Detecting potential risks
The goal of change management should be to enable faster change while still protecting the organization from potential risks. This requires carefully considering the user experience and the business value that the change will bring.
Data analytics also play a significant role in assessing the risk of making changes to processes such as payroll. Analyzing various factors such as political cycles, the economy, and other relevant data helps organizations gain insights that inform decision-making and help minimize potential risks.
Making it safe to fail
"We need to be learning organizations. We need to craft safe-to-fail and empower people to take calculated risks, so if the goal of change management is zero failed changes or zero bad consequences, where's the learning? (...) Safe-to-fail is an engineered thing. We engineer environments both the technology, how it's managed, how it's deployed in such a way… We believe that any failure is not going to be catastrophic, it will be controlled and limited. (...) We can't allow ourselves to be fighting an organization that wants desperately to learn."
What about CAB?
Change management is essential for regulatory compliance, but Sanker emphasized the fact that Change Management is not just about the CAB. It should be seen as a flow, not individual tasks, and should enable faster change while protecting the organization from risk. Automation and considering customers are important. However, CAB is not the only way to achieve compliance.
The truth of the matter is that there are other mechanisms for achieving control without relying on traditional CAB. Compliance with regulatory frameworks such as PCI DSS, HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, and NIST 853 is a significant aspect of change management for any organization. Adhering to these regulations helps ensure changes are implemented in a compliant manner and reduces the risk of non-compliance issues.
There you have it, change has changed. This is just a summary of Ticket Volume's Live Session featuring Greg Sanker. There's a lot more to discover in the recording. Be sure to listen to the full conversation with Matt Beran to learn more about how to improve Change Management.
You can find the full Live Session on popular platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, or any other podcast platform you prefer. Remember to subscribe if you're interested in joining the monthly live recordings!