What is a Change Advisory Board? (Overview, Roles, and Responsibilities)

  • By: Adam Wire
  • January 30, 2023
Change Advisory Board
Reading Time: 4 minutes

A change advisory board is a group of people who provide support to change management teams by offering their best oversight and guidance.

Change is an integral part of any organization, and managing it effectively is crucial to business success. This is where the Change Advisory Board (CAB) comes in. For example, this board is often responsible for reviewing, evaluating, and approving or rejecting components of a change-management strategy. The CAB plays a critical role in ensuring changes are implemented smoothly, efficiently, and with minimal disruption to the business.

The CAB management process can be complex, so it’s critical to understand the key roles and responsibilities, as well as the tools and strategies needed to manage it effectively. In this article we’ll provide an overview of the Change Advisory Board, including its roles and responsibilities.

What is the Change Advisory Board?

A Change Advisory Board is like an orchestra conductor. It coordinates and directs the various organizational structures and systems, and ensures changes are carefully planned, reviewed, approved, and implemented in a controlled and orderly manner. The CAB is also responsible for ensuring changes don’t disrupt the smooth functioning of the business and that proposed changes align with the organization’s overall goals and objectives. In short, the CAB is the guardian of change within the organization.

Change Advisory Board Roles and Responsibilities

Members of the change advisory board serve in various roles and responsibilities, including:

  1. Calculating and communicating risks: One of the primary responsibilities of a CAB is to assess the potential risks and impacts of proposed changes to the organization. It reviews the potential impact on business processes, systems, and stakeholders while identifying possible threats to the organization’s data and security.
  2. Reviewing change requests: The advisory council is in charge of reviewing and evaluating change proposals from various organizational stakeholders. It’s tasked with determining the potential impact of the proposed changes, and whether the requested change is feasible and aligns with the organization’s goals and objectives.
  3. Proposing changes to lessen company risks: In addition to reviewing change requests, the CAB may also propose changes to the organization to mitigate potential risks and improve efficiency. These changes may involve adjustments to processes, systems, or policies.
  4. Leveraging change management software: Many organizations use software to track and manage changes to IT systems, processes, and policies. The CAB bears responsibility for leveraging this software to ensure changes are properly documented, approved, and implemented.

Hosting a Change Advisory Board Meeting

Hosting a change advisory board meeting is a challenging craft. Here are some best practices for running a successful CAB meeting.

  • Create and disseminate a board meeting agenda: It’s essential to create a detailed agenda for the CAB meeting in advance. It should contain a list of discussion topics and the expected outcomes of the meeting. Also, make sure to share the agenda with all CAB members to ensure they arrive ready to discuss the issues.
  • Use an online meeting platform: In today’s world, it’s common to hold CAB meetings remotely using software such as Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet. The objective is to allow CAB members to participate from anywhere as long as they have a stable internet connection.
  • Encourage active participation: CAB meetings should be collaborative, with active involvement from all members. Encourage CAB members to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns while facilitating open and honest communication.
  • Use visual aids: Slides, diagrams, and charts can help communicate complex information and ideas during the CAB meeting.
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OnBoard Powers Effective Change Advisory Boards

Investing in software to improve meeting effectiveness can save time, increase productivity, shorten approval processes, and boost organizational communication and collaboration. 

OnBoard software improves meeting effectiveness with tools for agenda creation, file distribution, remote communication, and other features. A key feature of OnBoard’s meeting management software is the ability to create customizable agendas, which ensures all necessary items receive coverage and meetings stay on track. OnBoard also enables easy file distribution so meeting attendees can browse all relevant materials before the meeting.

OnBoard comes equipped with the following board management features, among others:

  • Industry-leading security, compliance, and data protection that’s certified and accredited
  • Agenda Builder and Minutes Builder for simplified meeting administration
  • Secure Messenger and Zoom Integration to enhance communication
  • Board Assessments to empower boards to measure their performance against the organization’s goals

And for help organizing your next meeting, check out our free Meeting Minutes Template today.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Who is Responsible for Hosting a Change Advisory Board?

    The responsibility for hosting a Change Advisory Board (CAB) typically depends on the specific organization and its processes. In some cases, the CAB may be hosted by the operations managers, business relationship manager, or another project team member. In other instances, the CAB may be organized by a higher-level manager or an executive within the organization. This responsibility for hosting a CAB should be clearly defined within the organization's processes and procedures.

  • What Does a Change Advisory Board Mean in Project Management?

    In project management, a Change Advisory Board (CAB) is a group of individuals responsible for reviewing and approving changes to a project. The CAB usually consists of stakeholders from multiple areas of the organization. Its role is to verify that changes to the project align with the overall goals and objectives of the organization. The CAB is also responsible for reviewing the impact of proposed changes and deciding whether to approve them.

  • What is an Emergency Change Advisory Board?

    An Emergency Change Advisory Board (ECAB) is a specialized version of a CAB, convened in the event of an urgent or critical change that needs to be addressed immediately. An ECAB is normally composed of a smaller group of individuals who can make quick decisions and take action to address the emergency change. The ECAB is in charge of reviewing the impact of the emergency change and deciding whether to approve it.

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About The Author

Adam Wire
Adam Wire
Adam Wire is a Content Marketing Manager at OnBoard who joined the company in 2021. A Ball State University graduate, Adam worked in various content marketing roles at Angi, USA Football, and Adult & Child Health following a 12-year career in newspapers. His favorite part of the job is problem-solving and helping teammates achieve their goals. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and two dogs. He’s an avid sports fan and foodie who also enjoys lawn and yard work and running.