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  1. The Butler Did It
  2. Representation and Documentation
  3. Management Acceptance
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Representation and Documentation

The first step in developing an enterprise change control process is to create a change control board to review and approve each proposed change to your production environment. The change control board should have representatives from all the stakeholders in your organization. This should include the network group, the applications group, desktop support, development, server administrators, and Webmasters. In short, everyone who utilizes your production environment should have a representative on your change control board in order to evaluate the impact of each proposed change on their systems.

Next you need to develop a method for recording and reporting on each change that takes place in your environment. In many cases, you can utilize the event-tracking capabilities built into your help desk system. This assumes, of course, that you have a help desk system that's tracking trouble calls in your organization. The bottom line is that you need a database system in which you can enter requests for changes, and track the progress of each request through the approval process and the implementation process until the change is completed and verified.

Note When there are unexpected network outages, many organizations don't require the change management process to be followed. After service has been restored, appropriate documentation should be filed, and an "after action" report filed with the CIO or whatever management is in place.

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