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ITIL change management

Every IT aspect must evolve. Old technologies need to succeed, while current solutions require upgrades to discuss more onerous regulations. Finally, IT needs to roll out new solutions to meet business demands. As the Digital Age transforms many industries, the rate of change control is ever-increasing and challenging for IT to manage if ill-prepared.

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) provides a set of best practices for organizational change management that makes it easier for IT professionals to roll out and prioritize changes efficiently, without negatively impacting customers or agreed-upon service levels. Stay competitive and avoid the stress of implementing changes without direction; it’s essential to understand these guidelines.

Note that ITIL is not very prescriptive when it comes to how to implement IT processes. Many companies augment ITIL best practices with their policies and procedures, which reflect their interpretation of the ITIL framework. It is precisely right for IT change management tools. Some of these policies and processes may borrow from other best practice frameworks or regulations.

What is ITIL change management?

ITIL change management is a change control process designed to understand and minimize risks while making IT changes. Businesses have two main expectations of the services provided by IT:

  • The services should be stable, reliable, and predictable.
  • The services should be able to change rapidly to meet evolving business requirements.

These expectations conflict. The objective of organizational change management is to enable IT service management to meet both expectations—to enable rapid change while minimizing the possibility of disruption to services.

Although organizational change management is a process in the Service Transition phase of the lifecycle, the decision about whether to approve a proposed change is sometimes a strategic one. Therefore, it is expected that the change control process will work closely with the portfolio management process as necessary.

Change management tools apply a formal process to accomplish change and, therefore, are sometimes thought of as making the transition more challenging by adding “red tape.” But a properly implemented change management process can enable a higher volume of useful change than would be possible without it. It does so in the following ways:

  • By assuring that all proposed modifications evaluated for their benefits and risks and that all impacts considered.
  • By prioritizing changes so that limited resources, allocated to those changes. That produces the most significant benefit based on the business need.
  • By requiring that all changes thoroughly tested and that each deployment includes. A back-out plan to restore the state of the environment if the deployment fails.
  • By ensuring that, the configuration management system is updated to reflect the effect of any changes.

The change manager must always be aware of opportunities to make the change management process more efficient. There are two essential tools for accomplishing this:

Change models. It is sporadic that a proposed change is not similar to changes made in the past. The change manager can develop a change model to standardize the procedure for implementing a specific type of change. It streamlines the process and reduces the risk of change.

Standard changes. A standard difference is a particular case of a change model and applies to routine changes involving little risk. Standard changes are pre-approved, meaning that they do not have to be reviewed by change management and typically treated as service requests by the service desk.

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

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