During the current global economic challenges, expenditure is probably the most important focus of any organization. The governance of the majority of economic expenditure within IT is performed primarily through the Change Management process. For clarity the definition of 'Governance' according to ITIL is:
Ensuring that Strategy and Policies are actually implemented, and that required Processes are correctly followed. Governance includes defining Roles and Responsibilities, measuring and reporting, and taking actions to resolve any issues identified.
The ITIL Change Management process provides the opportunity to access and ultimately authorize only those Requests For Change (RFCs) that meet the assessment criteria that is defined and enforced at that time by the organization. As part of ITIL all processes are subject to continuous improvement and the Change Management Process is no exception. Consequently the assessment criteria should be reviewed periodically to ensure it remains appropriate and current to the organization.
During the current global economic climate it maybe worthwhile to review the assessment criteria and ensure the criteria to review the financial benefit(s) to the organization of implementing the RFC is undertaken for every RFC.
Upon assessment of the RFC it is found that the implementation simply provides a 'nice to have' result, then a considered decision to reject the RFC could be made. Every RFC has a financial cost implication associated to it and this is also a primary consideration when assessing the RFC, which is especially important during periods when budgets are being scrutinized and expenditure reduced where possible.
ITIL RFC Assessment Criteria
The following list provides assessment criteria which can be considered to all Requests For Change:
- What impact the RFC will make upon the Customer's business operation
- What effect the RFC will have upon the infrastructure and the Customer service as defined within the Service Level Agreement (SLA)
- The effect upon the capacity, performance, reliability, resilience, continuity plans and security of the configuration item (CI) to be changed
- The impact upon other services including any current or planned projects
- Impact on non-IT infrastructures within the organization (security, office services, transport, business Customer Help Desks)
- The effect of not implementing the RFC
- IT, Business and other resources that are required to implement the RFC, the availability of the resources, anticipated costs, elapsed time and any new infrastructure required.
- Review against the Forward Schedule of Change (FSC)
- Additional ongoing resources required if the RFC is implemented
Another consideration is to review the previously authorized and in-flight 'significant' or 'major' RFCs, more often than not managed as projects, which in reality are simply large and complex changes.
Criteria by which the projects were initially assessed may have changed due to the economic climate and therefore consideration should be made to re-access the previously identified benefits of the project and whether or not they are still able to be recognized or achieved. If following the re-assessment the benefits have changed considerably then a decision should be taken as to whether to stop or suspend the project until such time the benefits can be realized.
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