Posted by: Jeff Timmins | January 2, 2015

Save the change for after the Holidays

Save the change for after the Holidays

Don’t make the same mistake I did. I actually know better, just didn’t listen to myself. Just say “No” to changes close to Holidays.

My training tells me to create, communicate and enforce a “No-change” period around Holidays. In addition, most IT groups shutdown changes the middle of December to early January. Others allow for exceptions during this period, often referred to as a Holiday Blackout.

I was successful creating or adding the Holiday Blackout dates to the change calendar. I even communicated the concept of the Blackout period to internal customers. What I did not do was uphold the Holiday Blackout when a group requested a change during the Blackout period.

Long story but in short I was open to the idea of a change on the Saturday before Christmas because the Business owner approved. Still working on “finding my voice” in my role, I agreed. In retrospect I should have said “I’m sorry but that weekend is in our Blackout period so with your permission I’d prefer to schedule that when the Blackout period is over.”

The result of the change during the Holiday Blackout is exactly why the Blackout period should be honored:

  • The change was deployed the Saturday before Christmas (as a reference, 12/25 in 2014 was on a Thursday and half the staff started their vacation the Monday before Christmas)
  • An error worthy of correction was found the Tuesday before Christmas.
  • Because the correction wasn’t immediately available we decided to rollback the change, causing multiple people to interrupt their vacation. After rollback was verified I sent an email asking the Product Owner to come up with a resolution to the issue.
  • Tuesday after Christmas the issue was not yet resolved so a meeting was called to bring issue to resolution, again interrupting vacations for multiple people.

Next time will be better.

Stay true to your calling my friends!

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