Although changes made under emergency procedures are often the result of inadequate planning, they are sometimes unavoidable.
Any service interruption that is classed as high impact, either on account of the number of users affected or because systems or services that are critical to the organisation are involved, must be responded to immediately. The solution to the problem frequently requires a change, and this has to be carried out following emergency procedures.
The procedure to be followed in such cases must be planned for. For example, validation protocols must be established with which to validate urgent changes. These changes may require:
- An urgent meeting of the CAB and or EC, if possible.
- A decision by the change manager if it is possible to postpone problem resolution or if it occurs over a weekend or during the holidays (making it difficult for the EC to meet).
As the priority objective in the event of emergency changes is to restore service, it is frequent for the associated processes to follow the reverse order from the usual case: i.e. the CMDB is recorded and the associated documentation completed after the change has been made.
However, it is essential that when the emergency change is closed, the same information is available as would be in the case of a normal change. If it is not, future changes may result in incompatibilities, incorrectly recorded configurations, etc. which could give rise to new incidents and problems.