Unchaining the chains in your change management process: A pragmatic approach

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) was introduced with very good intentions and many organisations seeing the potential realisable benefits different from their once very chaotic, unstructured and haphazard approach to Information Technology (IT) service management adopted the framework. Some of those organisations are so fully ITIL compliant now, but at what cost?

One very particular aspect of the ITIL framework which gets IT practitioners grumbling is the change management process. Without saying, change management has brought relief to many IT managers and IT Directors who have had to explain a loss of service due to some uncontrolled changes that had been carried out by someone they oversee. Now, that is the good aspect of change management in IT service management (ITSM). However, many organisations have very cumbersome and complex ITSM change management processes and procedures that make you start questioning the potential benefits of the function and if it is indeed worthwhile going through the process before making changes.

From the interviews I conducted, some of the key causes of the disenchantment by those implementing changes are:

  • Lack of understanding of the impact of the change by the change advisory board (CAB).
  • It is a “process for the sake of process” activity with no real tangible benefits.
  • Not all changes being made should go to the CAB.
  • IT Managers and their peers from other functional units are better equipped to assess the impact of the change than the CAB in most organisations.
  • IT Managers are not empowered to assess the impact of changes and decide which ones should be escalated to the CAB.
  • The process is not a guarantee of successful change implementation.

Addressing those concerns and key causes of disenchantment will empower the change management function within your organisation and improve outcomes. Do not let things grind to a halt within your organisation before reviewing your change management process.

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