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ITIL Can Positively Impact Change Success

Any organization that is about to undergo a change, regardless of how large or small, runs the risk of service interruptions should the change not go smoothly. In Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), the Change Management process attempts to minimize risks while aligning changes into three categories.
Objectives:
• Change Management Policies will minimize risk and help changes succeed.
• ITIL Change Management models
• Change Advisory Board explained
• Work flow of an ITIL-based Change

Discussion:
Some of the ITIL change management policies that may be put into place to minimize risk and ensure change success include:
• Creating a culture of Change Management across the organization where there is zero tolerance for unauthorized change
• Aligning the service Change Management process with business, project and stakeholder change management processes
• Prioritization of change, e.g. innovation vs preventive vs detective vs corrective change
• Establishing a single focal point for changes in order to minimize the probability of conflicting changes and potential disruption to the production environment
• Preventing people who are not authorized to make a change from having access to the production environment
• Integration with other service management processes to establish traceability of change, detect unauthorized change and identify change-related incidents

These change policies and rules if implemented within the organizations business model in conformance to ITIL best practices can assist in change success without disrupting IT services and impacting the business.

Within the ITIL practice there are three change models that can be tailored to any organization’s change needs:
• Standard Change Model – Used for pre-authorized repetitive, low-risk, well-tested changes. Often these will be the model used for service operational maintenance changes
• Normal Change Model – The full model for changes that must go through assessment, authorization and Change Advisory Board (CAB) agreement before implementation
• Emergency Change Model – A model reserved only for highly critical changes needed to restore failed high availability or widespread service failure, or that will prevent such a failure from imminently occurring.
The following video further explains the three change models with applicability to the airline industry to help clarify each model’s applicability. Although the video is a bit of a company advertisement, it does illustrate the ITIL change models in a way that is understandable to the lay person.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kY_btPIwu88

The CAB is a body that exists to support the authorization of changes and to assist Change Management in the assessment and prioritization of changes. As and when a CAB is convened, members should be chosen who are capable of ensuring that all changes within the scope of the CAB are adequately assessed from both a business and a technical viewpoint.
The CAB may be asked to consider and recommend the adoption or rejection of changes appropriate for higher level authorization and then recommendations will be submitted to the appropriate change authority.
To achieve this, the CAB needs to include people with a clear understanding across the whole range of stakeholder needs. The Change Manager will normally chair the CAB and potential members include:
• Customer(s)
• User manager(s)
• User group representative(s)
• Applications developers/maintainers
• Specialists/technical consultants
• Services and operations staff, e.g. Service Desk, test management, ITSCM, security, capacity

Summary:
Any organizational change has the potential to impact the organization in a very dramatic manner. Unless there are some defined procedures the organization adheres to in carrying out these changes (ITIL change management procedures), the dramatic impact can be negative. Developing organizational change models (like those addressed in ITIL best practices) to be followed for any change an organization undertakes can be a step toward ensuring change success.

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