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Change Management and the Modern Business

By Robert Hall, Support Analyst, Marval


According to the BNET Business Dictionary, Change Management is “the coordination of a structured period of transition from situation A to situation B, in order to achieve lasting change within an organization.” This definition is very accurate and true. But if you work on a Service Desk (particularly one committed to ITIL), Change Management is more than coordination; actually, it’s a pre-defined process. It’s the process of raising, reviewing, evaluating, approving, tracking and supervising changes in your environment.

But why do we need a process to manage changes? The answer is simple. It’s because many organizations struggle to deal with changes smoothly and seamlessly, for a number of reasons. Poor planning, for example - allocating the wrong period or inadequate resources for the change. Or having unauthorized changes – that can be an issue for many IT departments! Or causing disruption to critical business services. Or not being able to prioritise changes in a reasonable and justified way. For all these reasons, Change Management is a key process for any organization and any IT environment, particularly the largest and more complicated ones. Change Management will help the IT department achieve and maintain control, without the bureaucracy. That sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?

For a change to be managed properly, though, we need to consider the following:

·         The scope of the change

·         The affected service (or services)

·         The affected Configuration Items (CIs)

·         The required steps for the change to be implemented; but also steps to be taken should the change need to be reversed

·         The risk in carrying out the change

·         A test plan

·         The actual implementation plan, including knowledge transfer, training and communication

·         The resources required to implement the change

·         Potential impact on strategic plans, such as the Business Continuity Plan, or impact on the Service Catalogue or current SLAs

·         Any associated cost

Marval MSM can summarise these points and actions in a Change Model, with email notifications being sent out at the Approval Points where required. All participants in the Change process can inspect and contribute to the Change Request, thus providing a smooth path for the Change. All required documents can be attached to the Change Request, and a final approval decision – approved or refused, can be made and recorded.

Change Management helps the organization accelerate its response to the evolving operational requirements, by integrating changes fast and with minimal disruption to its operations. It also helps minimise risk, improve business continuity, and ensure that all changes are recorded and properly managed. Change Management is the process that helps the business stay up to date with its emerging challenges and maintain a healthy, competitive and functional environment. It’s a great process and, together with great technology, it can really make an impact in the way the business operates.


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