Change Acceptance Criteria

Do you know what is one of the best ways to hold a chaotic and useless CAB meeting? Lack of change acceptance criteria. Without them, you will either squabble over one change throughout the entire meeting, or accept all of the changes in 5 minutes and leave. Both ways are bad.

"Do you think we can approve this change?" says Change Manager.
"Uh... yeah, why not!" says CAB Member 1.
"Well, let's think about it, we've already approved too many...." says CAB Member 2.

The point of Change Management is to remain in control. The above example certainly does not give us this assurance. Avoid discussions like that. Prepare a set of criteria to validate changes against. Some of the things you should be interested in are:
  • Risk assessment, i.e. how likely is the change to cause trouble
  • Impact assessment, i.e. how big a trouble can the change cause
  • Suggested implementation window
  • Existence of implementation plan
  • Existence of a backout plan
  • Evidence of user acceptance test (UAT) completion
I have found looking at such fundamentals really useful in determining which change is ready to go, and which is not. Any other criteria you consider important?


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