Putting in place ITIL’s change management process helps mitigate unforeseen issues and downtime that arise from inadequate planning (or lack thereof) and controls. By documenting changes, organizations can stop the rise of significant—and often avoidable—issues.
Proper change management is a core component of the ITIL framework. For organizations looking to improve their maturity around IT Service Management, this is a great place to start. From the rollout of new technology to changes in processes or procedures – change management is everywhere. Without proper change management principles in place, an organization may struggle to deliver results and drain valuable IT resources in the process.
Change management is important because it helps to ensure that changes are made in a controlled and consistent manner, minimizing the potential for disruption to critical business systems and processes. Without proper Change Management, changes can be made without adequate testing, planning or communication, which can result in downtime, lost productivity and even data loss or security breaches.
Effective change management involves several key steps, including identifying the need for change, evaluating the potential impact of the change, developing a plan for implementing the change, testing the change in a controlled environment, communicating the change to all affected stakeholders, and documenting the change for future reference.
For organizations undergoing rapid growth with limited IT resources, change management should be a priority. At Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) they were struggling with unforeseen issues after each technology-related change. Using TeamDynamix for their ITSM, they were able to build out a comprehensive and well-thought-out change management strategy to address their issues.
“We set up a special form within the system called a change form, and whenever a production change is pending, we have the technical lead fill out that form,” Geri Hein, project manager within the university’s IT division, said. For larger changes, the change form is routed to a change control team that consists of Hein, a business analyst, the managers of the university’s IT infrastructure and database groups, and the IT director.
This process has increased communication within the IT team and helped with troubleshooting problems.
Now, whenever a change is coming, the key people who need to be aware are automatically notified in advance, so they can weigh in if they foresee any risks or dependencies in order to ensure a smooth transition. Changes are linked automatically to the ticket calendar feature within TeamDynamix, so IT staff can easily see which changes were made on which days.
“If there’s a problem, we can go to the calendar and determine whether it was related to a particular change or not,” Hein said. “There have been a few instances where our infrastructure team made changes that we didn’t think would cause problems with our ERP system, but they did. [Because of the change management process] we were able to track it back to the right source and easily resolve the issue.”
Adopting ITIL best practices can lead to massive success and benefits for your organization across the board. The ITIL Glossary gives a good look at the implementation, management, and quality of IT services that meet a company’s needs. By choosing a robust set of ITIL best practices, you can foster strength between the core functions of your organization and the IT services and develop a more even-keel approach to the service environment throughout a state of constant change.
Want to hear more about ITIL best practices? Watch top CIOs explain the difference between simply adopting ITIL and truly embracing it, including the roles education, technology and institutional support play in the overall vision.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in June 2020 and has been updated with new information.
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