Change Management (ITSM)

Change Management (ITSM)

Change Management is an IT Service Management discipline. The objective of Change Management in this context is to ensure that standardized methods and procedures are used for efficient and prompt handling of all changes to controlled IT infrastructure, in order to minimize the number and impact of any related incidents upon service. Changes in the IT infrastructure may arise reactively in response to problems or externally imposed requirements, e.g. legislative changes, or proactively from seeking imposed efficiency and effectiveness or to enable or reflect business initiatives, or from programs, projects or service improvement initiatives. Change Management can ensure standardized methods, processes and procedures are used for all changes, facilitate efficient and prompt handling of all changes, and maintain the proper balance between the need for change and the potential detrimental impact of changes.


Change Management within ITSM (as opposed to software engineering or project management) is often associated with ITIL, but the origins of change as an IT management process predate ITIL considerably, at least according to the IBM publication "A Management System for the Information Business." [cite web | author=IBM Global Services| year=2003| title=IBM and the IT Infrastructure Library| format=PDF | url=| accessdate=2007-12-10]

In the ITIL framework, change management is responsible for controlling change to all configuration items in the configuration management database, (or "CIs" in the CMDB) within the live environment, test and training environments (all environments under the control of 'ICT Operations'. It is not typically responsible for change within development projects (see below).

Change management in development projects

ITSM Change Management is not typically responsible for overseeing changes that occur within deployment or development projects which are typically delegated to a change management process dictated by the project management methodology adopted for the project. However close liaison between development project managers and the Change Manager is expected and the project manager may be required to utilize Change Management for items within the production or test environments that are required for testing or release.

Process overview

Change Management would typically comprise the raising and recording of changes, assessing the impact, cost, benefit and risk of proposed changes, developing business justification and obtaining approval, managing and co-ordinating change implementation, monitoring and reporting on implementation, reviewing and closing change requests.

ITIL defines the change management process this way:

:"The goal of the Change Management process is to ensure that standardized methods and procedures are used for efficient and prompt handling of all changes, in order to minimize the impact of change-related incidents upon service quality, and consequently improve the day-to-day operations of the organization."

Change management is responsible for managing change process involving:
*Communications equipment and software
*System software
*All documentation and procedures associated with the running, support and maintenance of live systems.

Any proposed change must be approved in the change management process. While change management makes the process happen, the decision authority is the Change Advisory Board (CAB), which is made up for the most part of people from other functions within the organization.The main activities of the change management are:
* Filtering changes
* Managing changes and the change process
* Chairing the CAB and the CAB/Emergency committee
* Reviewing and closing of Requests for Change (RFCs)
* Management reporting and providing management information


The ITIL concept of Change Management includes "developing business justification." This is a broadening of scope from other concepts of Change Management, and overlaps into the concerns of IT portfolio management and those areas covered by the initiation phases within programme management and project management.

For example, the IBM "Yellow Book" conception of Change Control (as a subset of Resource Control) was strictly concerned with the transfer of deliverables from projects into production. [cite book | author= IBM |title=A Management System for the Information Business| year= 1980| month= | publisher= IBM| location= White Plains, New York] Similarly, Schiesser in "IT Systems Management" defines Change Management as "a process to control and coordinate all changes to an IT production environment." [Schiesser, Rick, 2002. "IT Systems Management." New Jersey, Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-087678-X]


External links

* [ IT Service Management Professionals Association]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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