In today’s “Back to Basics” blog post, we’re going to look at something that every organization, big or small, goes through: change. More importantly, we’re going to discuss the impact of change, and how to manage it in a way that creates a smooth transition.
IT Change Management
In IT terms, change is defined as modifications or alterations to an organization’s technology infrastructure. Change can be very disruptive and cause confusion across a business. A comprehensive IT change management plan can help ensure a smooth implementation process, guiding systems, end users, and IT staff through the transitional period. Change management can also help organizations choose the best direction by weighing the need for change with the associated costs and risks.
Innovations of today’s tech world such as cloud computing, mobile devices, social media, and big data have brought along enormous changes to IT service desks. Changes such as these can not be ignored, and thus IT change management is nothing short of a necessity.
According to ITIL guidelines, the following steps are included in the IT change management process: formal request for change (RFC), review and approval of proposed change, creation of detailed project plan, review and refinement of plan by team of stakeholders, plan implementation, testing, results assessment, and reporting.
Don’t Forget About the People
When managers think of change management, they likely first think of the technical change and its impact. Whether it’s system updates or any type of technology investment that is ultimately supposed to benefit the organization, it’s important to remember that the one constant in all change management situations is the people. Change management isn’t just about keeping up with the latest technologies; it’s also about educating the end user to ensure that your organization doesn’t just accept the change, but rather makes the most out of it.
One method to create a smooth transition for your people is thorough and repeated communication. It’s not change that scares people, it’s uncertainty. Therefore, IT departments should clearly outline and communicate the value that the impending change can offer to not only overall company goals, but also to the individual employees. It’s also important to be ready to answer all employee questions and take into account their feedback.
Budgeting Change Management
Change is expensive. However, if you’re a manager, you can’t let the numbers blind you from spending on the things that matter. The long-term cost of a poorly implemented change, whether purely an opportunity cost or a literal expense, can come back to bite you. For example, a common mistake to avoid going over-budget is to cut back on employee education, engagement, and feedback programs. However, as previously explained, these are three essential components to successfully managing change.
ITSM Software Meets Change Management
A strong ITSM software can play an integral role in change management by resolving, or preventing, repeated incidents that may disrupt the change process. An ITSM software can also include features like change approval tools, which allow you to clearly map out the change process through three simple steps: plan procedures for recording, categorizing, and resolving problems, implement change steps when authorized, and collaborate on creating a knowledge base of solutions to problems from the change process.
One Sentence Summary: IT Change Management
IT change management is the strategic approach to implementing change to an organization’s IT infrastructure on both the technical and individual level.
It’s pretty simple when you put it that way.