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Currently, we have differing arrangements with each of our customers for change approvals. While this is useful to fit the needs of each customer, the Change Advisory Board (CAB) will now act as an extra layer of governance to ensure that all changes made by cloudThing to live environments are subject to a consistent level of quality assurance.

Our CAB meet every Friday and act as an independent body to review every proposed change to ensure that there will be minimal disruption when making changes to live services, as well as services that host any personal data. This standard of internal governance and quality control will help our customers feel assured that a change of any size to their systems is treated with the professionalism, respect and care that is expected of cloudThing.

Depending on your agreement with us, the implementation of the CAB across our entire customer base may mean that we need change requests made further in advance to ensure they are approved in-line with your anticipated timeframe.

What is a Change Advisory Board?

This industry best-practice approach has been tested internally on critical cloudThing systems for several months and will now be rolled out to customers as it has proven effective at ensuring internal satisfaction with any change. Our CAB is a team of senior members of technical staff at cloudThing who will act as the voice of the customer. The CAB will consider the data protection compliance and security implications, the impact on ongoing services, and how it will affect the service provided by our DevOps team before approving any change to a live environment. This helps mitigate any potential risks that a change to a live environment may cause, as all potential risks are reviewed by an external body before implementation.

The new cloudThing Change Advisory Board comprises of the following members:

Jay Neale: Commercial Approver
Gareth Porter: Approver
Fran Thomas: Approver
Stuart Harper: Approver
Krishna Kaur: Coordinator
Ghazal Sochael: Compliance Officer

There may be some instances when the nature of the change requires that other experts are brought on board for their unique levels of expertise.

Change Advisory Board Approach

We now require that every proposed development change is presented and demonstrated to the CAB by those involved with the development and implementation of the change. We do this so that customers can expect thoroughly documented, well-articulated, granular records of every change, along with full post-deployment testing and an agreed roll-back activity.

The process is outlined below:

  1. Development change proposed and implemented.
  2. The change is scheduled for release into the live environment.
  3. A release note is formed for the change requested, outlining the request in further detail and summarising how it will impact the way end-users and cloudThing customers interact with the change.
  4. The change management team which consists of project managers, solution architects and development support personnel then present the change requested to the CAB team.
  5. The change advisory board meet weekly to discuss the changes proposed and collectively agree to either accept or reject the change.
  6. Once accepted, the change will be released into the production environment on the agreed schedule. If rejected, the CAB will document in-full the reasons for rejection and ensure that the decision is communicated back to the change initiator.

What does it mean for me?

To reiterate, while this change will not affect any ongoing development project, it will mean that future changes need to be planned further in advance to fit in with the one-week SLA of CAB meetings. In exceptional cases, whereby a release needs to be proposed and approved before the next scheduled CAB meeting, an Emergency Release can be requested, upon-which the CAB will host a virtual meeting and to review and approve changes. Should you have any queries, please feel free to contact your Project Manager or get in touch.