An Introduction to ITIL Change Management

The great saying - The only thing that is constant in this world is Change. It may relate to our age, behavior, personal or professional life. A change is usually associated with progress and is essential for the betterment. It may have a negative impact if its consequences are not evaluated properly.

Today’s organization needs to be flexible and adaptive to competitive market to align their strategic goals to the business requirement. ITIL change management, design a structure which enables an organization to effectively and efficiently implement the changes in a live environment without disrupting the quality and value of the service to the customer.

Reasons for making service and infrastructural changes in IT organization:

  • Solving problems/known errors

  • Developing new services

  • Improving existing services

It aims at coordinating and controlling the changes through a well-defined process to minimize the impact to the business operations and the customers.

An effective Change management must work to ensure that the changes:

  • Are necessary, correct and meet the required expectation

  • Are properly logged, categorized and documented 

  • Are thoroughly tested in a live environment

  • Can be reverted if anything goes wrong through proper back out plans

Benefits of effective ITIL change management

  • Reduction in number of incidents and problems associated with the change

  • Improved IT services aligned to business requirement.

  • Reduced adverse impact of the changes on the existing services

  • Lesser back-out changes, with effective and efficient plans

  • Improved risk assessment plan

  • Improved cost evaluation and benefits of the proposed changes     

  • Boosts user productivity

  • Provides accurate information about the changes that will be deployed

Problems associated with ITIL change management:

  • Scope of change is not well defined and is too wide to be deployed causing unnecessary delays

  • Irrespective of the nature of the change i.e. whether it is to develop a new service or solve a problem, all associated departments much accept the authority of change management

  • Team associated with change management having inadequate and insufficient knowledge to perform the activities

  • Lack of proper software tools and manual to monitor and implement the change. Manual implementation is time and resource intensive

  • Noncompliance to the change management process by third party vendors

  • Change implemented without ITIL configuration management leads to ineffective solution

  • Lack of management support

  • No proper coordination between different platforms and locations

  • Back-out methods not properly tested

  • Poor risk and cost evaluation plan

Costs associated with ITIL change management

It takes time and money to implement a change. The primary cost components of change management are - 

  • Resources – It includes the change management team, the Change Advisory Board (CAB) members, Configuration and release management team. Whether it is a small or large change a dedicated team of resources is required to deploy it in live environment

  • Hardware/Software tools and methodology – Without an adequate change management tool it is unlikely for an organsation to deploy a change successfully and effectively

The secondary components are –

  • Training time and material costs for all the resources, platforms and teams involved

  • Event costs – workshops, meetings or town halls

  • Leveraged resources cost – support from different teams and platforms

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