A Change advisory board (CAB) in principle exists to support the change manager in making decisions, in terms of approving or rejecting proposed changes, and to support in scheduling and prioritization of changes.
A CAB is a fairly dynamic setup. Every change will have a different set of stakeholders. These stakeholders form the CAB for the particular change that is brought to for discussion. It can so happen that in the same meeting, you could have multiple sets of people forming the CAB for the changes presented during the day.
The dynamic setup is recommended by ITIL as every technology, every business unit and every change could impact different set of stakeholders, and you need to have the right stakeholders approving changes. Ex: It would make no sense having an application manager approving an infrastructure change in the CAB. You need the infrastructure manager, the datacenter manager, the head of the business where the server sits under, IT security for ensuring safety of customer data and so on.
Some organizations employ permanent CAB members who are fairly senior roles, and who are expected to understand and assess all the changes that are proposed for deployment. This kind of a setup may work in hierarchical organizations, and in smaller organizations where a few stakeholders make up the bulk of the organization.
According to the ITIL Service Transition publication, the following are the potential CAB members:
– User manager(s)
– User group representative(s)
– Business relationship managers
– Service owners
– Applications developers/maintainers
– Specialists and/or technical consultants
– Services and operations staff, e.g. service desk, test management, IT service continuity management, information security management, capacity management
– Facilities/office services staff (where changes may affect moves/accommodation and vice versa)
– Contractors’ or third parties’ representatives, e.g. in outsourcing situations
– Other parties as applicable to specific circumstances (e.g. police if traffic disruptions are likely, marketing if public products could be affected)