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Is there any Change Management Standard which is widely accepted in software and other industries? I worked at several companies with absolutely different target domains (investment banking and telecommunications). Companies had very similar Global Change Management (GCM) organization and processes. More specifically:

  1. There was GCM department responsible for all IT-related changes, such as company wide firewall changes, databases allocation/support, version control system support, etc.
  2. There was such notion as change freezes. It was not possible to get my changes implemented if change implementation date was the same as change freeze date.
  3. There was GCM meeting (conference call) when everybody discussed necessity and importance of their changes. It was hosted by GCM department representative every week at the same time (Tuesday, 17:00 GMT, for example).
  4. Changes should have been approved by Change approvers. There were different kind of request which have their own list of mandatory approver groups. Groups had several members working at different time zones. At least one such member must have approved the GCM in order to have whole group approved the change. It was required that approves for all mandatory approver groups had been collected before scheduled implementation time came. Otherwise there was 100% guarantee that it will not be implemented.
  5. Bureaucracy of GCM processes was remarkable. It was pure bureaucratic hell. Tools were awful, people slow and stubborn. It was nearly impossible to implement even minor changes. Sometimes I failed to get one last approve before implementation time or suddenly it turned out that implementation time is scheduled on the time of change freeze.

I would like to have a look at it, so that I would have general understanding of GCM processes and how they work at different companies. I would like to know whether it is so damn awful everywhere, or it was just poor GCM processes implementation at one specific company.

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This is by design though. Companies use change control processes specifically because they want to put up barriers and hurdles to changes. –  maple_shaft Jan 11 '12 at 16:02
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Often they call the barriers and hurdles "controls". And in some industries they're legally obligated to have controls in place and show how business processes implement those controls. –  S.Lott Jan 11 '12 at 16:53
    
The thing is those 'barriers and hurdles' are very similar from one company to another. There must be reason why they are so alike –  altern Jan 11 '12 at 20:51
    
@maple They're not designed as barriers to "change" (which sounds counter productive). They're barriers to problems from ill thought out changes –  MarkJ May 7 '12 at 11:30
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@MarkJ I assume they may start out that way but they always eventually devolve into something akin to the US congress where any meaningful change is stonewalled and stopped, either to maintain the status quo or for political reasons. –  maple_shaft May 7 '12 at 11:42

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Check out ITIL. It is a collection of practices and guidelines for managing an IT infrastructure. You can set up processes to manage facilities, power, equipment, operating system software, frameworks, databases, and applications.

Ideally, the "barriers" to change are meant to protect existing assets, and should be strong enough so that changes that will add little value at great risk are blocked, while changes that add value with little risk can pass can overcome them.

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