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Change Management - Change Advisory Board

The CAB is a cross-functional group set up to evaluate change requests for business need, priority, cost/benefit, and potential impacts to other systems or processes. Typically the CAB makes recommendations for implementation, further analysis, deferment, or cancellation.

The Change Advisory Board (CAB) is a concept defined in ITIL V2 and V3's Change Management process and is a body that exists to support the authorization of change and to assist Change Management in the assessment and prioritization of change. The CAB is usually consulted for significant change that have a broad or major impact to the organisation. The CAB may be asked to consider and recommend the adoption or rejection of change appropriate for higher level authorization and then recommendations will be submitted to the appropriate Change Authority.

Similar in concept to the CAB is the Emergency Change Advisory Board (ECAB). This is done as part of the Emergency Change procedure which is used to process a change request related to fixing an error in the IT infrastructure that has major impact to the business if it is not fixed quickly, hence the Emergency Change. An ECAB is necessarily formed since there is often not enough time to convene a normal and larger scale CAB meeting.

The Change advisory board (CAB) delivers support to the Change Management team by approving requested changes and assisting in the assessment and prioritization of changes. This body is generally made up of IT and Business representatives that include: the Change Manager, User managers and groups, technical experts, possible third parties and customers (if required).

The CAB members should selectively be chosen to ensure that the requested changes are thoroughly checked and assessed from both a technical and business perspective. The considered change will dictate the required personnel to convene in a CAB meeting. These entities are not required to meet face-to-face on each requested change, but rather use electronic support and communication tools as a medium. It is however advised that a quarterly meeting is scheduled to review outstanding changes, sign-off on approved changes and discuss any future major changes.

Any Request for Change (RFC) should be circulated in advance to allow the CAB members whether to attend in person, send a representative, or communicate via the Change Manager.

A standard agenda may also be used to conduct the CAB meetings.

Other ITIL Processes

In order to have a good understanding of ITIL and the importance of configuration management, we first define what ITIL is: ITIL is literally a collection of documentation.

This documentation can help IT organizations implement the best practices. The documentation grows and grows as more successful techniques are documented and guidelines established for what can make others successful. The latest ITIL resources are published by the UK Office of Government Commerce (OGC).

Integrated service delivery refers to the need for Configuration Management, Change Management, Incident Management, Problem Management and Release Management processes that are linked together in a meaningful manner. For example, the process of releasing components to the live environment (the domain of Release Management) is also an issue for Configuration Management and Change Management whilst the Service Desk is primarily responsible for liaison between IT providers and the Users of services. This section highlights the links and the principal relationships between all the Service Management and other infrastructure management processes.

ITIL processes fall under Operational Layer or Tactical Layer, as follows:

Operational Layer: Configuration Management - Service Desk Management - Incident & Problem Management - Change Management - Release Management
Tactical Layer: Service Level Management - Availability Management - Capacity Management - Continuity Management - Financial Management