Introduction and Purpose
The main goal of Change Management is for all the changes that need to be made to IT infrastructure and services to be performed and implemented correctly by ensuring standard procedures are followed.
Change Management must work to ensure that changes:
- Are justified.
- Are carried out without jeopardising IT service quality.
- Are properly recorded, classified and documented.
- Have been carefully tested in a test environment.
- Are recorded in the CMDB.
- Can be undone by running back-out plans if the system functions incorrectly after implementation.
The main activities of Change Management are briefly summarised in the following diagram:
The main benefits of proper change management are:
- The number of potential incidents and problems associated with each change is reduced.
- If the change has a negative impact on the IT structure, the process of returning to a stable configuration is relatively quick and simple.
- The number of back-outs needed is reduced.
- Changes are better received and the tendency to resist change is reduced.
- The true costs associated with the change are evaluated and it is therefore easier to assess the true return on the investment.
- The CMDB is kept properly up-to-date. This is essential if all other IT processes are to be managed correctly.
- Standard change procedures are developed allowing rapid updates to non-critical systems.
Implementing an appropriate change management policy can also run into serious difficulties:
- The various departments concerned must accept the authority of Change Management over issues relating to the change, independently from whether the change is made to solve a problem, improve a service or adapt the system to legal requirements.
- Established procedures are not followed, and in particular, the information on CIs is not updated properly in the CMDB.
- The people responsible for Change Management lack an in-depth knowledge of the organisation's activities, services, needs and IT structure, making them unable to perform their tasks adequately.
- Change management personnel do not have the right software tools to monitor and document the process properly.
- There is insufficient commitment on the part of top management to implement the associated processes rigorously.
- Excessively restrictive procedures are adopted, getting in the way of improvements, or alternatively, the change process is trivialised, resulting in insufficient stability for quality of service to be ensured.