Recently, I had an interesting conversation with Milton, a contact at one of my clients. The conversation centered around ITIL and Change Control processing. During the conversation, we began to talk about the types of requests Milton handles on a routine basis. One, in particular, was related to DNS changes.
Milton told me there has not been a time when he has rejected change requests for DNS updates or additions. He doesn't expect a situation to reject these types of requests in the future, either. In his organization's workflow, the changes are submitted by one group, processed by another with an approval step in the middle which really serves no value at all - except to delay the process. In fact, the flow resembles the graphic below:
The request is manually created by the individual needing the change to be made. Afterwards, a set of documentation is created and attached to the case as an artifact, for reference. From there, the approval process is initiated, where Milton indicated there has not been a case that was rejected. Once approved, the actual task being requested is completed by the appropriate group. Finally, the request is marked as completed and closed.
If we make the following assumptions:
Time required to create, process, close a single request = 50 minutes,
Number of requests per week = 5,
The average hourly rate for those involved = $50/hr,
In a single year, Milton's organization is spending $10,400 documenting, processing, and approving tasks that will always be approved.
Using the ITIL and Change Control processing system to create an automated change, the flow could be simplified as shown below:
The request is created as a Standard Change category type. This request references approved documentation of the change taking place and does not require any redundant artifacts to be included. From there, the change is auto-approved and closed, allowing the request to be completed without any further interaction.
Assuming the same cost factors above, the yearly cost to process these changes is reduced to $2,100, or 80% less in human resource costs. The savings could be reduced another 10% by implementing some level of automation and integration between the source of the change and the ITIL/Change Control application.
While a cost of $10,400 a year may not seem like much for an enterprise application, one needs to keep in mind that this is one of several examples that organizations are always approving every day of every year, as part of a change control process. If there are nine other similar processes, the $10,400 cost escalates to $104,000 - which is certainly possible at a mid-sized organization.
As needs continue to grow within business units, the impact of these type of changes will only increase. As a result, methods which can be streamlined can not only benefit the workload of those involved, but have a positive impact on the organization's bottom line.
Have a really great day!