Relying on ITIL to Drive Effective Change Management

It is easy to assume in your line of work that change management is a function of control and many would argue that it should be implemented at the same time as your configuration management. Others may tell you that configuration management should be implemented first as it is the dominating ITIL method.

The Realities of Change Management

In all reality, the implementation of a configuration management database within your service management structure is an important step, especially as it leverages the value presented by the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). What it actually accomplishes, however, is a change within your enterprise as it forces you to move from a reactive IT culture to a proactive IT provider of services. The tactical configuration management does promote a more cohesive culture within your service management, but only if you drive effective change management.

The Proactive Approach to Change Management

Every service manager has been in a situation where they have to react quickly to a situation. The faster they can react, the quicker the issue can be resolved and the number of people affected is reduced. This high intensity situation is generally not the preferred approach to service management as a proactive approach allows for calm and strategic thinking in terms of how to best service all users. The proactive approach is the basis for effective change management and when you take this road, you are more likely to achieve buy-in from your users and those on your staff charged with keeping them running at 100 percent.

Leveraging Configuration Management to Drive Change Management

When your approach to change management is coupled with configuration management, you put yourself and your department in a better position to provide the ability to manage changes within the service management environment. Users will almost always resist change, even if the proposed changes will improve workflows, reduce stress and increase their productivity. It is your responsibility in the change management process to ensure the least amount of downtime and the least amount of headache for your users.

Why ITIL Makes Sense in Change Management

Like every other task you undertake in your job, the idea of change management needs a focus and a purpose. You don’t make changes simply to make changes–you don’t have the time, resources or instability to make such a move. Instead, changes in the service management have to happen due to perceived improvements that the change promises to deliver. ITIL is the most widely accepted approach to service management in the world and by relying on this tool, you can better position yourself and your team to effectively drive change management that will deliver the perceived benefits to the organization.

Nuts and Bolts of Change Management

In the end, you still have to decide on the best approach to change management, how it will fit with ITIL and your plans for configuration management. Look at your strategic goals and then compare them with your goals for change management. Are they aligned? If you see areas where the two plans are not cohesive, it may be time to make a change to ensure a seamless process that benefits all. The way you approach change management will determine the overall benefits and the acceptance within the organization.