ITIL Change Management Overview

IT landscape needs a change over time. As technology is being transformed frequently old technologies need to be replaced and existing solutions require upgrades to address the demanding regulations. Finally, IT needs to roll out new solutions to meet business demands

Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) provides set of instructions as best practices for the change management process that defines set of rules for IT professionals to roll out and prioritize changes more efficiently excluding negative impact on customers and service levels.

What is a change management in IT?

The change management is a process designed to minimize and analyze risks while making IT changes. Organizations have two main expectations from the IT services provider:

  • Services should be stable, reliable, and predictable.
  • Services should be adaptable to meet evolving business requirements.

Change management is the process in the Service Transition phase of the lifecycle, but the decision on approval of a proposed change is sometimes a strategic one, and therefore it is expected that the change management process will closely work with the portfolio management process as required.

Process of change management is a formal way to accomplish change and therefore is sometimes proposal of making change is more difficult by adding “red tape.” But a properly implemented change management process can make greater volume of useful change than would be possible without it. It does so in the following ways:

  • Assuring that all proposed changes are evaluated for their benefits and risks, and all impacts are considered.
  • Prioritizing changes so that limited resources are allocated to those changes that produce the greatest benefit based on outage of the service.
  • All changes tested thoroughly, and each deployment includes a back-out plan to restore the early state of the environment in the event that the deployment fails.

Two important tools for accomplishing change management process

  • Change models. It is very rare that a proposed change is not similar to changes made in the past- The change manager can develop a change model & standardize the procedure for implementing a specific type of change. This streamlines the process and reduces the risk of change.
  • Standard changes- It is a special case of a change model & applies to routine changes involving little risk. Standard changes are mostly pre-approved, meaning that reviewing can be skipped by change management and are treated as service requests by the service desk.

In decision making whether to authorize changes, change manager is assisted by the change advisory board (CAB), CAB comprises experts in IT technology, finance, and the business.

ITIL aims best practices that IT organizations can utilize to deliver value to customers through the concept of “services.” Organizations who use ITIL are successful in standardizing their plan, deliver, & support IT services for their internal / external customers. One of the benefits of using a standardized best-practice framework is ensure that employees understand their roles & the procedures to follow in delivering the services & providing high customer Support. Employee knowledge & performance tend to improve with the use of ITIL, also customer satisfaction is higher as customers know what to expect from service.

The ITIL framework is also intended to give IT support providers an interactive role in organization, rather than providing support in the background.