Getting the Most out of Change Management
As a general concept, change management is relatively straightforward, if a bit broad in its scope. General change management is an attempt to describe, codify, and quantify everything that goes into preparing teams, individuals, or whole organizations to execute and (in some ways), to recover from change. Change management as an ITSM discipline, on the other hand, is more specific in its scope.
For IT organizations, change management can be confusing and complex. In most cases, it pays dividends to have an ITIL change management checklist in place. It may even be beneficial for organizations to evaluate available change management software or IT service management suites that offer change management capabilities for potential purchase, and then to incorporate these into their overall IT change management strategy.
Introduction to Change Management
As an IT service management discipline, change management ensures that the procedures and methods employed to enact change are standardized and ensure that they promote the prompt and efficient management of any changes to IT infrastructure. The ultimate goal of IT change management is to limit the number and severity of change-related impacts on service.
For a typical IT organization, changes to IT infrastructure can come from a wide variety of sources. These may include proactive changes not limited to improvements to the effectiveness and efficiency of systems and technologies, stemming from business initiatives with either an internal or external focus (or both). They may also include reactive changes spurred by legislation, market developments, or other potential disruptions.
An ITIL Change Management Checklist or Change Management Checklist Template
When building your ITIL change management checklist, it can be helpful to structure your procedures around the “7 R’s”: Who RAISED the change? What’s the REASON for the change? What is the expected RETURN for the change? What are the potential RISKS involved? What are the RESOURCES required to execute the change (and to clean up afterward)? Who is RESPONSIBLE for each aspect of the change? What is the RELATIONSHIP between this and other prior, contemporary, and potential changes? And lastly, though not an official step of the change management process – but still important – what would be the potential consequences of REJECTING the change?
- Who RAISED the Change?
Track the internal or external source of the call for the change.
- REASON for the Change
Codify the reason for the change in a way that is understandable contemporarily and from future vantage points.
- RETURN for the Change
Examine and codify the potential and likely benefits of the change to the organization, including customers and other external stakeholders.
- RISKS involved
Examine and codify any potential and likely risks involved in executing the change.
- RESOURCES required
Define and explore the costs associated with building, testing, and implementing the change.
- Who is RESPONSIBLE for build, test, and implementation?
Define the roles necessary to build, test, implement, and clean up after the change. As much as possible, assign roles in advance of implementation.
- RELATIONSHIP between this and other Changes
Examine and codify any direct and tertiary relationships this change has to prior, contemporary, or potential changes.
- Consequences of REJECTING the Change
Examine and codify any potential and likely risks involved in not executing or only partially executing the change.
Putting Your ITIL Change Management Checklist Into Action
Having built an ITIL change management checklist from a change management checklist template, your IT organization will be in a much better position to manage change, ensuring that standardized procedures and processes are agreed upon and ready to be employed for all types of changes.
This also ensures that all change management will be handled promptly and efficiently, minimizing any potential negative impact of changes across your organization.
For more information and tips on change management, visit our blog.
About Jay Johnson
Jay is content specialist on the Samanage marketing team intern. She recently earned her bachelor's degree in marketing from University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
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