I’d like to take credit for this, but can’t as I just heard it and I’m not even sure where I heard it, but it resonated with me…!
The gist of the article/conversation was that with more and more change automation being available to us, the desire for Agile change processes and the overall desire for speed of development, the comment on change approval was that going forward we should not be asking who is going to approve the change, but rather what is going to approve the change.
Change Control Boards (CCB) still serve an important purpose with more complex changes, but a change that will have low impact to any ongoing projects could potentially be allowed to continue without hindrance. This can be determined by having your change control software evaluate the objects in the change against a list of pre-determined sensitive objects. It would also check to see if these objects in the change have dependencies on other changes still in-flight in the landscape. If neither exists, let the change move on through without interruption.
In other words, in this case, the ‘what‘ that approved the change was the change control automation software, not any one or more ‘who’s‘.
Additionally, this change automation can be used to further lesson the burden on the human aspect. Rev-Trac customers can already leverage the functionality as it can automatically approve workflow steps based on specific criteria like the successful import to a target system. You can go further by defining a process to automatically call the SAP Code Inspector and have it run against all of the objects in your transports without intervention.
One thing is for sure, our change processes will continue to evolve as the needs of the business continue their own evolution. The questions of what approved rather than who will be become more regular.