IT Change Control: 8 Ways To Improve Your Processes

The words "change control" may seem like an oxymoron, but that is exactly what IT is charged with doing each time the business asks for a new application, service, or device. But IT change control processes are often mired in an outdated culture that's not in line with today's business technology reality. Here's what you can do to bring your IT change control processes up to date.
Broaden Your Horizons
Small, Quick, Frequent Changes
Test Like You've Never Tested Before
Don't Be Afraid To Fail And Fallback
Run Small Meetings
Make Maintenance Windows Longer, Not Shorter
Stop Bothering The Change-Makers
Document Successes And Failures

If there's one topic within enterprise IT that almost everyone has an opinion on, it has to be how the change control process should function. No matter what company you are in, you're likely to hear opinions on how to streamline processes in order to make changes faster and more effective.

At one time, IT had the luxury of being slow to react to business needs. Applications and infrastructure were far less flexible, and thus, the business understood that changes to IT systems had to be slow. Yet, with today's much more adaptable technologies, the business has come to the conclusion that IT should be able to make changes faster -- and users are beginning to demand it.

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The problem for many in IT is that, while the underlying technology is more flexible to change, longtime change processes often remain slow and cumbersome. And that's precisely what we're discussing here. We'll give you tips to address speed, accuracy, and other annoyances that do not add value to the overall process. Some ideas we're presenting here may be ones you've already thought of -- but have had trouble implementing. Other ideas may be new and may give you a different perspective on a change control step. Lastly, you're presented with a few tips on how to remove inefficiencies that not only slow the process down, but also drive IT admins crazy.

Once you've reviewed our tips, let us know your thoughts on the ideas we presented -- and share any ideas of your own that you think would be beneficial to the process. We'd like to hear from you in the comments section below.

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