A true consultant creates value in every activity he defines, identifies a reason for doing what is supposed to be done and sets in motion a cycle where improvements gather steam.
One of the most popular ways to create value is by supporting standard changes. Standard changes provide the best bang for your buck, and saves companies tons of dollars that otherwise would go waste on menial, repetitive tasks.
So what kind of changes can be standard changes?
Low risk. Low impact. Routine. Repetitive.
What are some of the examples of standard changes?
Now, this is a difficult question. The difficulty does not stem from finding examples, but due to the subjective nature of identifying standard changes.
Every organization has a different level of risk appetite. So, what it necessarily means is that a standard change in organization A will be a normal change in organization B.
That being said, here are some examples of standard changes that are most commonly standardized across organizations. Once again, this is based on my experience, and not a comprehensive set.
Minor Patch Upgrades
Creating/Modifying/Deleting Accesses (can be service request as well)
Online hardware replacement (like for like and no outage)
Hardware replacement for resolving an incident
Installation of monitoring agents
Adding/Modifying/Deleting DNS entries
Data load (for reporting and analytics)
Minor batch job configurations
It is an ideal option to have at least 50% of your overall changes standardized. But it may not happen in most industries, especially in the banking industry where the risk appetite is at a minimum. Also, make sure you back your objective with a rugged process where controls dictate that there is a minimum criteria for standard change qualification and a set of audit controls to keep a finger on the pulse.
I would love to hear from you about your experience in standardizing and maintaining standard changes.