Change Categorization

Rusty asked:
I was looking for terms used for categorizing the impact of a change, I remember in Version 2 of ITIL that changes where categorized as Major, Significant, Minor and Standard is that no longer done? Or is the Imapct also defines as the priority High, Medium, and Low

I’m going to give you my answer in three parts. This information can also be found in Section 4.2 of your Service Transition Book.
In ITIL V3 changes are now categorized into three distinct types:
Standard Change: Change to a service or infrastructure for which the approach has been pre-authorized by Change management that has an accepted and established procedure to provide a specific change requirement. It has a defined trigger, documented tasks and budgetary approval. The risk is low and well understood.

Normal Change: Change to a service or infrastructure for which the risk must be assessed and must go through the Change Advisory Board (CAB). These are Changes that happen either only once or infrequently and the impact/risk to the current environment must be assessed.

Emergency Change: Change that must be introduced as soon as possible, usually in order to repair an error within the environment. There is substantial risk involved and must be approved by the Emergency Change Advisory Board (ECAB). There is a separate escalation procedure in order to reduce or eliminate the impact/unavailability currently affecting the environment.

When assessing impact/risk we usually use an impact/risk categorization matrix and from this determine the associated scrutiny the change will receive by the Change Authority.
  • High impact/High probability = Risk Category 1 (Emergency change)
  • High impact/Low probability = Risk Category 2 (Normal change)
  • Low impact/High probability = Risk Category 3 (Normal change)
  • Low impact/Low probability = Risk Category 4 (Standard Change)
 When determining priority we use the formula:
 Priority = Urgency + Impact
We can use the following examples of priority: 
  • Immediate – life at risk, significant loss of revenue (corrective)
  • High – Severely affecting key users or large # of users (corrective or innovative)
  • Medium – No severe impact, but cannot wait until next change schedule or release (corrective, innovative or update)
  • Low- Change is justified and necessary, but can wait until next change schedule or release.  (any type)
So we look at the Priority, exam the risk and this helps us determine the type of change we will use.


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