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Standardizing Service Modifications with ITIL® Change Management

ITIL Change ManagementAlthough it’s well known for its place within the ITIL® Framework, Change Management is a long-standing tradition within ITSM. Services need to evolve to meet the demands of clients, regulatory agencies and providers.

Keeping track of these evolutionary stages can be almost as complicated as conceptualizing and implementing the service itself. ITIL Change Management is used to give this process structure, and firms that implement ITIL training requirements to improve their handling of the Service Lifecycle often focus on this critical component of the Service Transition phase.

Understanding the Goals of Change Management

IT service changes come in many forms. For instance, you may have to increase your database size to handle a new population of application users or implement new encryption standards to meet the demands of a client that recently changed its security guidelines. While it’s essential to track such changes individually until each is completed satisfactorily, their diverse nature might contribute to disorganization.

ITIL Change Management is designed to help service providers implement standardized methodologies and procedures that apply to every change ticket or request. Although different individuals within your organization will naturally be responsible for specific change-related tasks, your ability to process all service modifications in a uniform manner will contribute greatly to how efficiently you handle them.

The Business Benefits of Change Management

As the previous examples suggest, changes can easily spiral out of control. In the case of a firm that had to create a bigger database, for example, increasing the table’s capacity might also break code that relies on accessing a fixed-size database or expects new values to be formatted the same way as old entries. Without change management to keep track of affected components and necessary alterations, the costs of continually updating and correcting software can grow to represent a serious financial burden.

Similarly, poor planning has the potential to increase service downtime when new changes break critical components. ITIL’s approach to Change Management takes these factors into account by helping firms identify and adopt approaches that minimize service disruptions and economize the use of the resources needed to implement changes effectively.

Mastering the Service Lifecycle

ITIL helps align Change Management strategies with the other phases of the Service Lifecycle by defining changes in common terms. Instead of receiving an obscure change request from a client and then forwarding an information dump to a software engineer who has to spend valuable time figuring out how to begin attacking the problem, the service desk can determine whether a proposed change should result in a new configuration item status. From there, they can decide how to handle the event in the most cost-effective manner.

By implementing ITIL change management strategies, firms can leverage the ITIL Framework to stay ahead of changes. This is essential to maintaining acceptable levels of service quality and lowering expenditures.

Ashford Global IT provides training and consultative services to businesses in a variety of IT areas including ITIL and ITSM. Contact them today to discuss your training needs.

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