Evolution, transition, transformation, modification or variation of services. So many terms that reflect change management process. Regardless of the semantics, this process is ubiquitous in the Service Management practice, and fits within the frameworks valued by the ITSM industry. In response to business needs constantly changing, it deserves to be standardized and optimized in order to minimize the risk or the process rework.
Objective vs Risk
The objectives related to the process of change management are clear :
- saving changes
- assessing changes
- authorization changes
- their ranking (in order of priority)
- planning changes
- test changes
- implementation changes
- documentation of these changes
- and finally, an update of this documentation
These objectives also imply the consideration of organizational needs in relation to these changes:
- the many changing needs from the business units to maximize the value of services and improve operational performance
- the inevitable need for alignment between IT services, and the business world
However, we must consider another important aspect of change management, which is is an essential factor in the process success; the risk. The objective is to minimize it in the operational transition of services. These risks are closely linked to the number of incidents in a business context. Here are a few:
- Delays in project delivery
- Urgency and amount of changes to be applied
- Lean proportion of successful changes
- Unexpected service interruptions
- No change authorization
The importance of a good methodology
To achieve the objectives, and to limit the risks mentioned above, an appropriate methodology is required. This method aims to ensure the registration of all changes affecting the configuration items (CI) and active services within the configuration management system (CMS). This process standardization is critical to any organization, and at different levels. It is highly recommended to centralize the definition of change management process, process validation, management priorities and impact analysis in a folder accessible to change managers.
This access enables those managers to edit or upgrade various processes involved. A workflow should ideally be made available to facilitate the automated modification of change items, thereby enabling a greater internal efficiency. A business-oriented customized methodology will allow you to anticipate futue problematics, and will act on feedback through a comprehensive change process audit. It will be more beneficial for your organization to align to the ITIL® framework and customize this approach based on identified business needs.
A well managed change management brings several benefits. As noted previously, an appropriate change management process enables a greater internal efficiency, a reduction of associated risks, and a better alignment with business units requirements.
Other operational benefits are worth noting:
- Reducing the time of implantation
- Decrease interruptions
- Compliance, control, traceability, and development of current processes
- Automating changes
- Increase in the degree of user satisfaction