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A Crash Course on Change Management

Change management

Digital upgrades and new initiatives lead to new projects within businesses. Seamless operation is necessary for business productivity. Companies regularly transition that differs in both impact and risk.

Streamlining the process helps keep impact and risk under control. Change management enables the deployment of new changes with little to no downtime or business disruption.

The process captures necessary details about a change before implementing change, planning, and approval of the request.

Change management also works with other ITIL modules like:

  • Incident management
  • Problem management
  • Configuration management
  • Infrastructure
  • Configuration items (CI)

ITIL Change Management is supposed to understand and make risks minimal while making IT changes to CI (configuration items) or CMDB (Configuration Management Database)

Services provided by IT should be:

  • Stable
  • Reliable
  • Predictable
  • Able to meet business requirements

Change management is designed to meet all these expectations, enabling change while keeping disruption to a minimum.

A change may be an event:

  1. That management approves
  2. Results in new CI
  3. Put forth with minimal risk to IT.
  4. Provides increased value to the business

The increased value may be revenue-wise, avoided cost, or an improvement upon service.

The Change Management Process Includes:

  • Logging and Filtering Change — Creating the request and filtering it by department, status, and priority
  • Managing Changes — tracking the requests and change process.
  • Change Approval — Requesting approval from the CAB (Change Advisory Board)
  • Review and Close Request — Reviewing and closing of requests.
  • Change Reporting — management reporting and providing management information.

You may create the Request for Change (RFC)for reasons like:

  1.  An incident causes a new change.
  2.  Change results from a problem
  3.  End-user requests a change

Change manager creates change resulting from maintenance.

The change proposal contains the following information and details:

  • The Reason for the Change — Why change is created, parties affected the change’s desired result.
  • Impact and Risk Evaluation — What effect it will have and associated risk
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis — estimated utilization of the resource, cost, and potential benefits
  • Implementation Plan — steps that include project members, timelines, workflows

Change management is a part of service transition that recommends a process flow to analyze, evaluate, plan, and implement a specific change request. The process acts as a gatekeeper and authorizes every record of change before moving to release management.

There are Four Types of Changes

  1. Major — This is a high risk, high impact change that could interrupt live environments. Evaluation of the change is critical to determine the schedule and workflow. An example of a major change is replacing an existing enterprise solution (ERP).
  2. Standard — This is a low risk, low impact change both pre-approved and pre-defined. These are periodical changes following standard procedure. Approval for This happens once initially and does not require approval every time—examples include patch deployment.
  3. Minor — These are low impact, low-risk changes. They are non-trivial. It goes through every stage of the change lifecycle. Examples of a minor change would include performance improvement or website changes.
  4. Emergency — These are unanticipated disruptions that should be resolved as soon as possible. These changes handle RFC post-implementation. The ECAB (Emergency CAB) must understand the impact and handle approvals. A review is crucial for emergency changes to know potential future risks. Examples would be a server outage or fix for a security breach.

When dealing with change management, you need to know the Why, the What, and the Impact Caused by Change:

  • The Why — the reason for the change. What benefit do you hope to achieve by implementing the change?
  • The What — Hardware, software, system infrastructure, a process, documentation, or a combination of these?
  • Impact — What are the potential negative consequences of the change and how to avoid them

Change management needs the right process, the right people, and the right tech.

Change management can be improved by:

  • Defining change templates to pre-fill standard changes
  • Define workflows to execute processes
  • Include stakeholders from teams in CAB
  • Communicate clear roles and responsibilities
  • Automate CAB approval process
  • Define success factors
  • Define metrics to measure
  • Integrate with other modules for info flow

With the right measures taken, change management can help streamline your workflows and improve your business productivity.

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Megha JadhavA Crash Course on Change Management
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