Tips To Help You Improve
by Stuart Rance
Change is the single biggest cause of
incidents and problems for IT services.
Estimates of quite how many incidents
are caused by changes vary, but I
have personally seen one very large
organization reduce the number of
incidents by 80% for the duration of a
three month change freeze. On the face
of it, this might suggest that we should
just avoid making changes to IT, which
may well account for the resistance to
What is a change?
ITIL (the best practice framework
for IT service management)
deﬁnes a change as “The addition,
modiﬁcation or removal of anything
that could have an effect on IT
change that is typical of some IT departments. But most organizations can’t simply
stop making changes. A ‘no change’ policy would have an even bigger negative
effect on customers than the change-related failures it was intended to prevent.
This is where change management comes in. IT organizations implement change
management to try and protect the services they deliver to their customers. They put
procedures in place to ensure that changes are well documented, that they have been
tested, that the risks have been understood and that suitable plans are in place to deal
with things that might go wrong.
Ideally, change management should protect your IT services from the impact of change
without having any negative consequences, but in practice that is not always the
case. All too often it becomes over-bureaucratic. There may be complex forms to ﬁll
in, and a seemingly endless series of reviews and checks to complete, resulting in
painfully long delays before even the simplest change can be implemented. Many IT
organizations have regular Change Advisory Board (CAB) meetings, where changes are
discussed, and decisions are made about which changes will be implemented. These
CAB meetings typically take place once a week and, at their worst, can involve lots of
people with formal change management responsibility sitting round a table discussing
changes that they know very little about while lots of people with change requests are
obliged to sit and wait till their particular request reaches the top of the agenda.
If this sounds familiar then read on to discover some of the things that my customers
do to get real value out of change management. There are things you can do to provide
the protection your customers need without creating an unwieldy process that slows
everything down; you just need to focus your efforts on the things that are really
important to you. A good change management process can really help to reduce the
number of incidents, whilst at the same time it can facilitate required changes and
improve the availability of IT services.
Tips to Help You Improve Change Management