Four Essential Qualities of an ITIL Change Manager

ITIL change managers are a different breed. They are different from all other service management roles that ITIL has to offer. There are many qualities that you look for in a change manager when you are in a hiring position. But, here are the most essential qualities of an ITIL change manager.

  1. ITIL Change Managers must be Decisive

I was debating with myself over the most essential quality of an ITIL change manager, and I am now convinced that decisiveness is the most important quality he must possess. You want him to take decisions, and not be afraid of taking one. Whether he takes the right decision or the wrong one is secondary, but he must be level headed to put his foot down. The last thing we need is a change manager who gets stuck between two or more options, and prefers the middle ground. In other words, you don’t want him to compromise on options.

When I say decisiveness, I don’t necessarily mean he must take snap judgements. They are bad for the organization and can have irreparable repercussions. The change manager must know where to look and what to seek for making sound decisions.

  1. ITIL Change Managers must be Pessimists

You must think I am out my mind to look for a pessimist in a change manager. Let me explain. An ITIL change manager must be a pessimist because only they can think of all the bad things that can happen if a change was to go wrong. You want the change manager to analyze the change from all the angles, and try to think of all that could go wrong. Only pessimists can do that, and it is paramount to be safe than sorry.

The last person you want on the job is an optimist. You don’t want your change manager to believe in the luck factor while he approves changes. Even if there is a small probability that something could go wrong, you want the change manager to hold things back until the mitigation plans are in place, and tested.

  1. ITIL Change Managers must have an Operational Mindset

Change management is in the service transition phase in ITIL and not under service operations. But, let me break it to you, it is an operational role at the end of the day. Changes keep flowing, one after another, with end not in sight. The activities you perform as a change manager get repetitive and mundane in nature. Fatigue sets in eventually. The best people to handle these repetitive activities are those who are more operational in nature. Like those who work on infrastructure, networking and application maintenance and housekeeping. You want your change manager to be molded from the same metal.

  1. ITIL Change Managers must be Flexible

Wait a minute! You mentioned that the change managers must be decisive, and pessimists. Isn’t flexible just the contrary, you might ask. Nope. The flexibility I am referring to is somebody who looks for options, other than the ones presented to him. The change manager must not go rigid on what they know works, but rather looks at the situation at hand with an open mind. You still want the change manager to look for options, and pessimistic enough to consider all the possible angles, and yet come out on top with the right decision.

Let me tell you that a non-flexible change manager brings in the bureaucracy that drives the business, management and teams working on changes to start hating the change management process.

If you agree, disagree or have more qualities to add to the essentials for an ITIL change manager, use the comments section to share it.

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1 comment

Role of an IT Change Manager – Resources for Interviews / Switching Roles – Abhinav PMP December 11, 2018 at 11:16 AM

[…] this post, I want to list out the role of an IT change manager and how he can make a […]


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