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Confidence Level Approach to Optimized Change Management

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000243898D
Publication Date: 2015-Oct-27
Document File: 5 page(s) / 86K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method that provides a scientific analysis of the differences between a product that exceeds the customer's requirements and shared expectations to a “good enough†solution that meets the customer’s needs and budget. The core idea of the method is for the service provider to calculate the business optimized success rate for a given change implementation, present the success rate vs. cost commitments to the client, and then let the client decide how to proceed based on the success rate vs. cost analysis.

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Confidence Level Approach to Optimized Change Management

Technical solutions often exceed the necessary requirements of the eventual end user or customer. The final product is often over-analyzed, over-designed, over-developed, and over-tested. The prevalent, existing information technology (IT) culture is to perform changes at 100% confidence levels due to issues that arise when a product or system release has a failure. This results in an over-solutioned product and additional functionality that basically represents no-cost, added features to the customer. Alternate methodologies, such as exception-based management, seek to optimize change management by focusing on critical vs. non-critical changes.

In extreme development situations, organizations operate from the perspective that the goal is to provide the ultimate solution that has everything desirable. This can absorb significant practitioner and administrative time, with the concomitant impact of longer time frames and higher costs and prices.

Alternatively, accepting changes without the overhead required for a 100% success rate, organizations can realize faster cycle times and lower costs. A method is needed to optimally utilize practitioner time, balancing the need for the successful evolution of environments with speed and agility of action and cost.

The novel contribution is a method that, using the popularity of Agile development, provides a scientific analysis of the differences between a product that exceeds the customer's requirements and shared expectations to a "good enough" solution that meets the customer's needs and budget. This method is non-obvious, as service providers (and IT Staff) historically strive for a 100% success rate on every change, whether or not it is required, justified, and/or cost effective or not. This solution offers new options for a lesser success rate to accommodate less spending. The core idea of the method is to calculate the business optimized success rate for a given change implementation. The service provider analyzes the risk of a lesser success rate vs. the reward of reduced costs, and obtains the optimal success rate for the business.

For instance, consider a system administrator (admin) tasked with performing a specific change in an IT environment. Previously, the admin has demonstrated a 100% success rate for this change if given 40 hours, an 85% success rate if given 20 hours, and a 25% success rate if given 10 hours. In essence, the incremental hours spent by the system administrator after 20 hours shows diminishing returns in terms of success rate (Figure
1). For changes where speed takes precedence over certainty of outcome, operators may decide to allocate 20 hours for the change and accept an 85% success rate (better than equal odds), knowing that the change may fail and require subsequent effort.

Figure 1: Confidence Level of Success vs. Time Spent

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The novel method provides historical, statistical, and nume...