Change Management:

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Change Management

A change is “an event that results in a new status of one or more configuration items (CI's)” Manage approved, cost effective, business enhancing changes (fixes) - with minimum risk to IT infrastructure. The goal of Change Management is to ensure that standardized methods and procedures are used for efficient handling of all Changes, in order to minimize the impact of Change-related incidents and to improve day-to-day operations.

The main aims of Change Management are :

  • Minimal disruption of services
  • Reduction in back-out activities
  • Economic utilization of resources involved in the change

Change Management is an IT Service Management discipline. The objective of Change Management in this context is to ensure that standardized methods and procedures are used for efficient and prompt handling of all changes to controlled IT infrastructure, in order to minimise the number and impact of any related Incidents upon service. Changes in the information technology infrastructure may arise reactively in response to Problems or externally imposed requirements, e.g. legislative changes, or proactively from seeking imposed efficiency and effectiveness or to enable or reflect business initiatives, or from programmes, projects or service improvement initiatives. Change Management can ensure standardised methods, processes and procedures are used for all Changes, facilitate efficient and prompt handling of all Changes, and maintain the proper balance between the need for Change and the potential detrimental impact of Changes.

Change Management and ITIL

Change Management within ITSM is often associated with ITIL, but the origins of Change as an IT management process predate ITIL considerably, at least according to the IBM publication "A Management System for the Information Business". In the ITIL framework, change management is responsible for controlling change to all configuration items within the live environment, test and training environments.

Change Management in Development Projects

ITSM Change Management is not typically responsible for overseeing changes that occur within deployment or development projects which is typically delegated to a change management process dictated by the project management methodology adopted for the project. However close liaison between development project managers and the Change Manager is expected and the project manager may be required to utilize Change Management for items within the production or test environments that are required for testing or release.

Change Management process overview

Change Management would typically comprise the raising and recording of changes, assessing the impact, cost, benefit and risk of proposed changes, developing business justification and obtaining approval, managing and co-ordinating change implementation, monitoring and reporting on implementation, reviewing and closing request for changes.

ITIL defines the change management process this way:

The goal of the Change Management process is to ensure that standardized methods and procedures are used for efficient and prompt handling of all changes, in order to minimize the impact of change-related incidents upon service quality, and consequently improve the day-to-day operations of the organization.

Change management is responsible for managing change process involving:

  • Hardware
  • Communications equipment and software
  • System software
  • All documentation and procedures associated with the running, support and maintenance of live systems.

Any proposed change must be approved in the change management process. While change management makes the process happen, the decision authority is the Change Advisory Board (CAB), which is made up for the most part of people from other functions within the organisation.

The main activities of the change management are:

  • Filtering changes
  • Managing changes and the change process
  • Chairing the CAB and the CAB/Emergency committee
  • Reviewing and closing of Requests for Change
  • Management reporting and providing management information