Change Management

This is an excerpt, you will find more detailed descriptions in the book.

The Change Management process is central to the entire transition phase; from the relevant function deciding that a change should be implemented in the Continual Service Improvement process, to the IT Operations Manager formally taking over responsibility for the change implemented.

A change is defined as:

“An addition, change or removal of something which can affect the delivery of IT services or associated documentation.”

Purpose

The main purpose of the Change Management process is to ensure that changes are registered, evaluated, prioritized, planned, tested, established and documented in a controlled way.

This is achieved through, in all changes that are implemented:

  • Ensuring that all information about the change is registered
  • Assessing whether the change needs to undergo Service Design
  • Using proven and documented methods and procedures
  • Investigating what impact the change has on the IT environment
  • Considering the risk for the business
  • Ensuring that all relevant aspects of the change have been taken into account
  • Coordinating the deployment with other changes
  • Ensuring that there is a restore plan prior to deployment

Scope

Each IT organization must decide itself which changes should be registered in the Change Management process. There is no standard level which functions for everybody. Neither does it work to set a level for all services when, for example, replacing a spare part in a PC does not need to be registered in the change process, while the same spare part in a central storage solution needs to be checked more thoroughly as it entails a greater risk.

Besides the Change Management process, changes are also made in Daily Operations Management and in the Request Fulfilment process. Forcing the IT organization to also register these issues in the Change Management process is not effective.

As both Daily Operations Management and Request Fulfilment are based on documented procedures, the practical solution is to register each new procedure as a change in the Change Management process where the it is quality reviewed and approved as a standard change. The procedure can subsequently be implemented in the respective process without the issue being registered twice. What is important is that all changes are registered so that there is traceability if something was to go wrong.

Types of change

The Change Management process functions as a quality control of changes which are to be implemented in the IT environment. A thorough review of each change would take a lot of time and resources. Furthermore, the administration would delay the throughput of changes to such an extent that the IT organization would not accept the process.

Change records are therefore divided into different types based on the risk the change has of negatively affecting the IT environment if something was to go wrong.

Activities

All requests and proposals for changes must be prioritized by the respective function together with everything else that has to be actioned in the Continual Service Improvement process. Only once the function has decided to proceed with a proposed change is the issue registered as a request for change (RFC) in the Change Management process.

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