ITIL Newbie Mistake #7: CAB Meeting Burnout


“ITIL says we need a CAB. We should put this on the calendar and invite everyone.”

While ITIL promotes the concept of a change advisory board (CAB), it doesn’t say how a CAB should be convened. Many people learn about a CAB and decide that before each and every change occurs, a CAB meeting should be convened to discuss the change. People who attend the first CAB meeting are excited and involved as they learn about the proposed change and are eager to discuss it. Over time, and often very quickly, people’s involvement wanes as the CAB becomes a sounding board for other issues that often don’t involve many of the people present at the CAB meeting.

The structure of CAB meetings doesn’t have to be a single, regular meeting with all of the stakeholders for all services. Instead, a creative approach to CAB meetings may provide more positive support and involvement from stakeholders. For example, try a hierarchic approach to CAB meetings.

Suppose an IT organization has complete control over a specific environment, while other IT organizations have control over their specific environments. If a change is proposed for this specific environment, then the IT organization should be able to evaluate that change with the involvement of relevant stakeholders if that change only impacts that single environment. If the change has any chance of impacting any other environment, then the change cannot be evaluated in this manner.

A technique for handing this type of situation is to establish hierarchic CAB meetings. A CAB meeting would be convened for that specific environment on a regular basis to evaluate requested changes pertinent to that environment. In this manner, the local IT organization and the pertinent stakeholders can operate in an autonomous manner as appropriate.

Additionally, a higher-level CAB meeting would be convened to evaluate changes that impact multiple environments. This higher-level CAB would involve stakeholders from the different environments to provide the appropriate evaluation of changes.

CAB meetings shouldn’t be long, drawn out meetings that result in the perception of time being wasted by the attendees. Instead, they should be highly relevant to the attendees and provide value to everyone involved. To accomplish this, creative means may need to be explored to provide the proper evaluation of changes through the CAB.

Related Course ITIL Foundation

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