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Surviving the end of a Change Freeze

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Happy New Year to all our readers and especially to all the Change Managers out there. Why especially Change Managers? Well this week is “back to work” week for most people following the end of the Christmas break as well as the end of any Change freeze / restrictions. This means that not only are our poor Change Managers dealing with the January blues; they’re dealing with the floodgates opening and a deluge of Change activity. With the best will in the world, we try to ensure Changes are transitioned seamlessly into our live environment but the reality is, more Changes equal an increase in Incidents so here’s our guide to surviving the end of the Change freeze whilst keeping your sanity in check.


Step 1: Stick the kettle on

I know, I know, I’m a caffeine addict but in all seriousness, you’re facing a busy week, might as well rock it powered by Starbucks.


Step 2: Have a look at your Change Schedule

Look at your FSC and see if you can identify any bottlenecks or pain points. You know the ones, that business critical service that needs a software update but the rest of the business will be after you with flaming torches and pitchforks if there’s any unforeseen downtime, the server that takes forever to come back up again following a maintenance reboot or that router that’s so twitchy it falls over if someone even looks at it the wrong way. Look at your areas of highest risk and give them an extra sanity check to make sure all the due diligence has been done, the implementation windows are at sensible times and that everyone is happy with the action plan.

Step 3: Get Proactive

As the late, great Bob Hoskins once said, “it’s good to talk”. Now is the time to pre-warn your Service Desk, support teams, Service Delivery Managers and management teams that Change activity will be returning to normal and that it will be an extra busy week or so while the backlog that will have invariably have built up during the Christmas break is dealt with.

Step 4: Turn on the charm

Talk to your Relationship Managers and Service Delivery Managers so that they’re pre warned of any additional risks. By making them aware, you’re enabling them to pre warn customers of any potential blips and if you’re really lucky they may even be able to negotiate a relaxation of any SLAs during busy periods – yay teamwork!

Final Thoughts

Keep smiling, it will be fine, all will be well because you’ve got this. If all else fails – at least you’re not this cat:

Image Credit

Vawns Murphy

Irish mum of 3. ITIL V2 Manager (red badge) and ITIL V3 Expert (purple badge). SDI Managers certificate. Further qualifications in COBIT, ISO 20000, SAM, PRINCE2 and Microsoft. Author of itSMF UK collateral on Service Transition, Software Asset Management, Problem Management & the "How to do CCRM" book. Reviewer for the Service Transition ITIL 3 2011 publication. When not being pelted with brightly coloured balls in name of ITIL, I am a senior ITSM analyst for Enterprise Opinions.

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