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Change management ITIL

Digital business transformation helps meet growing customer demands and increase company profits, while implementing IT change management according to ITIL 4 Foundation book. When a company transitions to a service-oriented business model and implements ITSM, the change management process becomes paramount as mistakes in change implementation can do more harm than good.

What is change management and how to implement it in practice – discuss in this article.

ITIL Change management and types of changes

According to ITIL the whole change management process consists of the following steps: different approvals, planning and testing all the steps before they affect the end user. A properly configured change management process helps an organization implement changes without major incidents and with a high probability of success.

The ITIL library defines these types of changes and their application scenarios:

Standard – occurring in the infrastructure or a specific service, are pre-authorized. An example is creating an account, regularly rebooting the server. They are subject to agreed requirements, and there is an established procedure for their application.

Standard changes have a minimal level of risk, there is prior authorization, so a request for review by the advisory board is not required.

Normal – occurs at the request of an organizational group or employee. In comparison to the standard they are more rare, which affect an important part of the infrastructure and have a broad scope. They are performed according to a certain change management scenario. Approval of the CAB (advisory board) is mandatory.

Emergency – urgent changes which need to be applied as quickly as possible, but before they are applied, testing is required to prevent negative consequences. An example is an urgent server reboot to fix a bug that affects speed and quality of service.

Emergency goes beyond the standard process, they are not subject to approval, but after application they are always tested to ensure the correctness of each action and, if necessary, make adjustments.
Why manage change

The purpose of change management is to improve the availability of IT services that affect the stable operation and development of the business. Through proper change management, you can minimize problems that arise from bad decisions and lead to disruptions in service delivery to the end user.

Reasons why change management is necessary for the company itself:

  • Helps optimize the risks of failed solutions;
  • minimizes the negative impact of errors and failures in the system;
  • allows you to implement changes the first time;
  • helps with clear categorization.

Why change management in the company is beneficial to the end user of the service:

  1. Customer awareness of service downtime/unavailability is improved;
  2. service operation becomes more efficient, there are fewer outages and interruptions, which increases customer satisfaction.

The option "as long as it works, it's better not to touch anything" does not work, because for the smooth operation of the infrastructure it is constantly necessary to change something – to upgrade, update, repair. If these processes are not controlled, you can face disastrous consequences.

To summarize. The change management process in today's business helps solve specific problems related to new customer needs, while optimizing costs, reducing risks and defining metrics by standards such as quality, quantity, demand and time. Change management improves service availability, improves staff performance, reduces downtime and minimizes equipment failures.

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