Just as it’s important to choose people strategically for your change control technology selection team, you need to think strategically about the representatives for your Change Advisory Board (CAB). It usually turns out several of these folks will be on both.

Every process has an owner and Change Control is very important in the SAP DevOps world – an organization’s Change Manager is usually its core owner. Depending on the complexity of your organization, other members of the Change Advisory Board (CAB) will vary but the CAB’s main purpose will stay the same – advise, assist and approve changes that are ready to go into production.

Some companies have both CABS and CRBs (Change Review Boards). To avoid conflicts, you’ll need to carefully define the scope of each body’s responsibilities. For example, the CAB might double as your Pre-Developments Review Board, or that might fall to the Change Review Board. It depends on the complexity of your company. You might need a hybrid approach. However it breaks out, that scope will help set who is on that particular Board. In turn, they will determine specific activities, how often they meet and why, etc.

If you’re considering a Change Review Board for new change requests and incoming business changes, here’s what the CRB would probably take on:

  • Advise change owners on change management guidelines with respect to assessment, change types and priority
  • Assess Requests for Change (RFCs) for impact, resource availability, priorities, change authorization and coordination
  • Support the Change Manager in approval decisions
  • Review and approve the Forward Schedule of Change (FSC)

Defining the scope will depend on what best meets the requirements of the business, as related to Change Control. A very small company with low volume of changes may still meet once a week because it’s critical to meeting business demands. Other small companies with low volume of changes and fewer resources might meet weekly to review both the changes being developed and the schedule of resources. Or they might need to review and approve finished changes to be migrated to production.

Larger corporations typically have both high volume of changes and high volume of incoming requests – they often have two different boards, each with its own responsibilities and timelines with a more closely defined scope. They’ll usually assist the Change Manager in assessing, prioritizing, authorizing and scheduling complex changes with greater impact and risk. CAB meetings for larger organizations generally occur at least weekly.

An SAP CAB will usually include a few permanent members, the Change Manager being the most obvious. Others might include:

  • Service Desk Manager or Analyst
  • Operation Manager
  • Application Manager
  • Information Security Officer
  • Applications Architect
  • Quality Assurance Manager
  • SAP Basis Manager
  • Project Management Officer

I’ve said it many times – no two organizations are the same, but I hope these observations will help you think about how to configure your CAB for maximum benefit.

Next post I’ll reveal the top success factors as you deploy your process design, so stay tuned.

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2 Comments

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  1. Faisal Iqbal

    You rightly pointed out, “no two organizations are same and hence the structure of CRBs and CABs may vary” however the guidelines, explained by you, are generally applicable to almost all organizations – having Change Control Procedures in place.

    In addition to the meetings the boards have to assess, advise & approve changes, thorough documentation of change requests (covering various aspects) as explained in Documentation of Change Requests – an element of a Change Control Procedure could contribute well in successful implementation of changes.

    Looking forward to your future posts on the topic.

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