A Brief Introduction to ITIL Change Management

Change management is a governance process in ITIL and it exists to ensure that only the beneficial changes are allowed to go in, and reduce the risks to IT services when changes are not successful.

Change management is like a watchdog for all the proposed changes. It ensures that all the proposed changes are analyzed, approved appropriately and supervised to closure. It cannot be done away with, as changes are one of the main triggers for incidents. So, it is indeed critical that all changes are analyzed for risk and impact.

Many organizations acknowledge the need to have the change management process, although it is looked at as an overhead. The process does consume a considerable number of resources to assess and approve changes, and the process mandates documentation for every change proposed. The technical and business stakeholders, who are in favor of implementing changes when they need it, believe that the change management process acts as a hurdle/formality, which goes against the principle of implementing changes in an agile manner.

Change management is a double-edged sword. Without it, changes are uncontrolled and have the ability to cause havoc. With it, the process slows down implementations and deployments.

There is, however, a way to ensure that change management does not hog a big chunk of resources and act as an obstruction to changes that do not necessarily require extended oversight. Standard changes, unused or improperly implemented mostly, is the answer to taming the change management beast, which can render rigid and bureaucratic if left unchecked.

Abhinav Kaiser

Abhinav Kaiser is an author and a management consultant. He has authored Reinventing ITIL in the Age of DevOps, Become ITIL Foundation Certified in 7 Days and Workshop in a Box: Communication for IT Professionals. He works as an agile/devops coach in one of the top consulting firms. He advises businesses, organizations and enterprises in the areas of DevOps, IT service management and agile project management frameworks.

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