© 2017 by Service Management Specialists PTY Ltd

How to get your vendors to plug into your IT Change Management Process

Getting your vendors on-board with your IT Change Management Process is a significant step forward in terms maturing your overall IT Change Management Process, establishing an enhanced level of operational control across your IT landscape and driving consistency.

 

So why should a vendor or service provider care about your IT Change Management Process? They do their own thing and you do yours, right? Well in today’s highly integrated ‘As a Service’ environment - upstream and downstream components are more tightly coupled than ever before and therefore when a change is made to a single component – up and down stream impacts need to be assessed.  Your IT Change Management Process facilitates this level of governance.

 

At a fundamental level, the key to your vendors ‘plugging into’ your IT Change Management Process successfully is based around understanding their responsibilities and demarcation points in detail. 

 

Here are 4 key considerations that you may want to consider when getting your vendors to plug into your IT Change Management Process:

 

  1. Clear IT Change Management Process Roles:  Developing well-defined IT Change Management Process roles and responsibilities allows you to clearly articulate your expectations with your vendors.  Clear roles and responsibilities outline the specific activities required for your vendors to take part within your IT CM Process.  Working with your vendors to highlight the specific roles you are expecting them to play as well as discussing, unpicking and overcoming any vendor specific nuisances will help to develop a strong and well supported IT CM Process relationship.

  2. Develop a Change week: A Change week clearly defines specific weekly ‘close off’ times for when RFC’s can be raised, reviewed, assessed and approved within a weekly Change lifecycle.  A Change Week in simple terms provides context to the various milestones required for a ‘Change’ to make the next CAB cycle.  The main feature of a ‘Change Week’ is that it provides clear time-bound rules for Changes that all stakeholders (including Vendors) need to adhere too as part of a well-structured IT Change Management capability.

  3. Establish ‘CAB’ Allocation ‘turn up times’:  Define short RFC allocation timeslots within your CAB, this allows Change Requestors/Representatives (including vendors) to turn up for specific allocated timeslots.  This works particularly well for vendors who only have only have an interest in their specific Component Changes by encouraging participation in short allocated times.         

  4. Provide your vendors an easy way to assess upstream and downstream impacts of RFC’s themselves.  While you may want to provide a final ‘internal’ check point to ensure end to end impact assessments have been formally considered, why not allow your vendors to undertake the first cut at assessing and recognising any upstream or downstream impacts across your IT landscape?  Allowing your vendors, to assess RFC’s can speed things up and empower a broader community to understand what is important within your IT landscape in detail.  This can be done simply by providing your vendors with ‘read only’ access to your CMDB relationship mapping capabilities or perhaps sharing your inventory of Critical Services and underpinning core components. 

Getting your vendors on-board and plugged into your IT Change Management Process is extremely valuable in terms of building vendor partnerships and relationships as well as strengthening and broadening your overall IT Change Management Process capability.

 

Please feel free to let me know what you think ….drop me an email or leave a comment below
 

See you next time,


Kirk.

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