What is ITIL Change Management ?

ITIL Change Management is fundamental to mature IT organizations – it improves visibility and brings assets, configuration items, change requests, tickets and projects all together on one configuration management database (CMDB). And while change management is a critical component of improving an organization’s IT maturity, for change management to work you need to understand the ITIL standards that are the foundation of proper change management.

Within IT departments, most organizations use IT Service Management (ITSM) platforms to effectively manage the change management process, so it’s critical that the ITSM tool you use supports ITIL.

Understanding ITIL and ITSM

ITIL stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, and is a framework often used within ITSM. ITIL prescribes a set of specific methods, practices and processes for managing the organization’s IT operations and services.

The ITIL framework bases itself on the five phases of the service life cycle. The guidelines set out the necessary processes, associated challenges and best practices for each phase of the service life cycle, as well as the requirements for the implementation of each phase. These guidelines can, and should, be used to kick off internal discussions and policy creation within an organization to ensure service delivery is optimized appropriately for the end-user. 

The 5 stages of ITIL are: 

  1. Service Strategy – This is the start of the ITIL life cycle, and it sits at the center because a stable and precise service strategy is necessary for better service management. This stage determines what capabilities will need to be developed or implemented, including the definition of markets, development of assets or the necessary preparations for deployment. 
  2. Service Design – Ideas become plans in the second ITIL life cycle stage. It is here that services and processes bear out the primary goal of providing a better service management environment.  
  3. Service Transition – The third stage of the ITIL life cycle is where the preparation of services and strategies that will be implemented in the live environment take place. It is here that organizations test and implement new designs.  
  4. Service Operation – Following the launch of services and processes to customers and peers, the operation stage of the life cycle begins. Service owners must be prepared and available to report any issues as they arise, and make sure that customers are satisfied with the services and process.  
  5. Continual Service Improvement – This last stage of the ITIL framework directs organizations to search for potential improvements in all the previous steps. By looking at what is measurable versus what is not, and by processing and sorting of the data into quantifiable findings, the cycle starts all over again. 

Did you know 80 percent of all issues reported to IT are actually the result of poor change management?

What You Need for Proper ITIL Change Management

Did you know that, according to studies, 80 percent of all issues reported to IT are actually the result of poor change management? That’s why many companies follow the ITIL approach along with release, asset and project management. When evaluating a new ITSM vendor, or your current ITSM tool, it’s important to make sure you can do the following for proper ITIL change and release management:

  • Establish plans for new rollouts.
  • Leverage project management and change management together.
  • Assign resources and establish timelines for updates.
  • Monitor the outcomes for improved problem management.
  • Generate reports and visualize change for better communication.
  • Facilitate and schedule notifications to end-users.
  • Engage in change management activities as part of a release.
  • Integrate project planning and expense tracking into a release.
  • Keep everyone informed, schedules on track and budgets in check.

What Change Management Looks Like in Action

If you need an example of great change management check out Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED). At 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 division 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 says. “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.”

To learn more about change management and TeamDynamix visit: www.teamdynamix.com/it-service-management-itsm/change-management.

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