How to Get the Business to Join CAB

You might wonder why would it be problematic to get the business to join CAB meetings. After all, you talk about changes they want done. They should be interested in being part of CAB and see that the changes get approved, right? Wrong!

Don't Waste Time

What you will frequently see happen is business users issuing requests for changes to IT and expecting them to be handled by IT from then onwards. Their time is valuable, so why would they waste it on another meeting, when it is clear that they want those changes done. They would not have requested them otherwise!

Examine your reasons for inviting business representatives to CAB. Don't just do it because "ITIL tells you to". Do you want them just to provide a formal approval of presented changes? They have every right to refuse to come to such a meeting, because it brings no value to them.

Make the CAB Meeting Relevant

In order to solicit participation, you need to make the meeting relevant. Ensure the business representatives see the value in attending and contributing. The obvious value they can provide is decision on priorities. You might have a pretty long list of changes waiting to be approved. They will not all be ready at the same time due to limited resources. That needs to be made clear to the business. If they see you need their decisions, they are more likely to come and contribute.

Next step in increasing relevance of the CAB meeting is to put dates against the changes from the top of priority list. The lower you go, the more approximate the dates can be. Ask how they feel about the dates, negotiate a mutually beneficial compromise. That will increase business engagement and show them that you care.


After certain changes have been approved and the rest postponed, you need to go and deliver upon your commitments. The changes need to be delivered according to schedule. As resources become freed up, you can go ahead and approve subsequent changes to go into the development pipeline.

At this stage, you will need the business to approve change installation following successful tests. They are more likely to participate because they want the changes to go to production. They might just send you an email approval or confirm the change in an online form. That is fine as well. At this stage, it should be a mere formality, but a necessary one. You need to control your changes after all.


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