In ITSM as in life change is inevitable. In order for us to continually deliver services that are meaningful and bring value to our customers, we must frequently update and upgrade not only the services we deliver but also the underlying infrastructure, technology and applications that are utilized and managed to deliver these services. The ITIL definition of a change is “the addition, modification or removal of anything that could have an effect on the delivery of an IT service.
The purpose of the change management process is to control the lifecycle of all changes, allowing us to make beneficial changes with minimal disruption to our current IT services. The objective is to be able to respond to these changing requirements while safeguarding value and reducing rework. Additionally ITSM must ensure that services continue to align to overall business strategy and that we have the processes and mechanisms in place to guarantee that all changes and the configuration items (CI) are being recorded and overall business risk is being assessed and optimized. This can be a daunting task in any size organization.
Organizations can utilize predefined change models in helping them to manage this process. A change model is a technique of predefining the steps and the sequence of those steps, which should be taken to carry out a particular type of change in an agreed manner. They can be built around the three different types of changes, Standard, Emergency and Normal.
All change models should include the following:
- Steps to be taken to handle the change, including issues and unexpected events.
- The chronological order in which the steps are to be taken, with dependences or co-processes defined.
- Responsibilities – who does what! Accountable and responsible parties should be defined.
- Timescale and thresholds for each of these action items to be undertaken.
- Escalation procedures.
- These models can be integrated into the support tool for automated handling, management and reporting.
The value that can be realized by employing change models will be a greater and more effective ability to protect the business from the negative impact from disruptions and delays, ability to meet governance requirements, the reduction of failed changes, reduction of risk and being able to meet the ever increasing demand for timely and accurate changes.