Gating and Change Advisory Board (CAB) updates

September 20, 2018

Yale ITS is rolling out changes to the Gating and Change Advisory Board (CAB) processes. The following information will help you understand why we have these functions, how they work, what tools are available for support, and who is involved.  
Gating is a series of checkpoints used to help assess a projects readiness to move on to the next phase of work, while CAB is a process and committee that assesses the readiness of a change to be made to the operating environment.

Gating and CAB have operated as independent processes. Gating was facilitated through the Technology Operating Committee (TOC), Project Review Committee (PRC), and Project Advisory Committee (PAC), and has been focused on portfolio projects. CAB has focused on reducing risk when changes are made to the operating environment. As ITS continues the IT Service Management (ITSM) journey, it is important for us to recognize that Projects and Operations are not separate and distinct but are services in different phases of the Service Lifecycle.

Phases of the Service Lifecycle

The diagram above shows the Service Lifecycle (service strategy, service design, service transition, and service operations) and the waterfall version of the Project Delivery Lifecycle. In this view, we can see that the Project Lifecycle aligns directly with the Service Design and Service Transition phases of service management. A project is a service that is “being built” or is “under repair.” The red triangles represent the “checkpoints” (or Gates) associated with the service lifecycle, with CAB as the last checkpoint along the way. The CAB gate (also considered the “Service Operations Entry Gate”) remains focused on reducing the risk of changes made to the operating environment. However, all gates are intended to help increase the visibility, consistency, predictability, and success of changes.

Only select changes need to go through all the gates.  Minor changes, such as production fixes, maintenance, or small enhancements will only need to go through the CAB gate, as they do today.   However, more significant, material changes are considered to be “Projects” and are subject to review at gates before the CAB gate.  Changes are considered Projects if:

  • The change requires capital (portfolio) funding
  • A project manager is needed to manage the change
  • The change requires 500 or more hours of work effort to complete
  • The change requires coordination and effort across teams/organizations
  • The change results in a new service, a new service offering, or the removal of a service or service offering

Changes that meet some or all of the criteria above should be reviewed with the Service & Portfolio Management Office (SPMO) to determine the required gates and corresponding documentation.

Named advisors from each IT organization will attend Gates. The change advisors are responsible for evaluating the readiness for a Project or Change to move to the next lifecycle phase. Gates are passed based on completion of deliverables and/or addressing considerations and questions associated with the gate. Change advisors may include others in the process, but they are ultimately responsible for approval to move forward.  While the advisors are required to attend Gating and CAB, these committees are open to all who wish to attend. The change advisors are:

  • Cynthia Welsh (Campus Technology Services)
  • El Lolis (Medicine and Health)
  • Julie McEvoy (Campus Community Technologies)
  • Tedd Darash (Campus Community Technologies)
  • Morrow Long (Information Security)
  • Pam Miller (Reporting and Analytics)
  • Shane Anderson (Business Systems Group)
  • Suresh Pandian (Foundational Technology Services)
  • Tim Sheets (Foundational Technology Services)
  • Mark Manton (IT Finance and Administration)
  • Laurel German (Student Technology Collaborative)
  • Vanessa Macary (Operational Communications)

To help support Projects and operating changes through the Gates, the SPMO offers several tools, which are available in the Service & Portfolio Management Library:

  • Business Case Template – An Excel workbook with sheets to document the case for a project.  It contains a worksheet for Business Case, and a Basis of Estimate to document assumptions and drivers of costs and benefits.
  • PM Workbook Template – An Excel workbook with sheets to document and track the required deliverables for a Project/Change and the checklists for each gate.  Also contains a handy set of tools that are frequently used on Projects.
  • Service Operations Manual – A Word document that provides a summary of service (or service offering) and describes where to find documentation that is relevant for the service (or offering), such as DR plans and Runbooks.

The SPMO will work with teams to determine the most appropriate path to take. In general, existing services without a current project will continue to use the CAB process for operational changes.  Projects in-flight or approved for FY19 should be discussed with the SPMO to determine the appropriate path.
The SPMO is offering a Foundational Training Course that will cover these topics in more detail.  You may sign up for one of the training sessions using TMS.  You can contact the SPMO for any questions or feedback.

In summary:

  • Service Changes are reviewed at specific points in the Service Lifecycle for conformance to delivery standards.  The points are referred to as “Gates,” as they allow entry to the next phase
  • Small changes such as production fixes, maintenance, and small enhancements are subject only to the CAB gate
  • Gates are facilitated by “gating checklists” that contain questions and considerations that are relevant for the gate in question
  • Contents of the “gating checklists” are known in advance and available through the SPMO SharePoint, in the PM Workbook
  • Each ITS unit is represented by a Change Advisor who is responsible for the interests of that unit.  Change Advisors approval is needed for a Service Change to move to the next gate
  • Before the first gate, PM’s and/or Service Owners should work with the SPMO to identify the required deliverables for change
  • The gating and CAB schedules will be published, and all interested parties may attend
  • Minutes from gating and CAB meetings will be shared with all service owners, project managers, and others who may need to be aware