Change management ITSM essentials

Change management ITSM defined

When it comes to IT service management, ITSM change management is a discipline aimed at standardizing processes and methods for efficiently dealing with changes to control IT infrastructure. This helps to reduce the occurrences and impact of service-related incidents. 

Issues or other internal and external requirements like legislative changes or service improvement initiatives can trigger the need for infrastructure changes. When these triggers occur, change management can ensure standardized methods, processes, and procedures help to facilitate efficient and timely handling of all changes and maintain the right balance between the need for change and the potential detrimental impact of changes.

Below you will find practical definitions for participant roles, types of changes, and risk levels used by many organizations when establishing an ITSM process at the enterprise level.

Roles and responsibilities

  • Change requestor: Is responsible for all aspects of documenting, planning, testing, and executing change requests. They verify the success of the implementation and know what to do if a failure occurs. The change requestor communicates with all stakeholders, and shepherds change requests for approval.
  • Change reviewer: Reviews the change submitted for completeness, validity, and accuracy. They ensure business justification, change tasks, and plans are accurately populated. The change reviewer approves the change during the request for authorization.
  • Change manager: Provides the first level or approval, they might add additional levels of approval based on the potential risk or impact. They are responsible for managing and coordinating all activities necessary to control, track, and audit changes. The change manager is also responsible for resolving conflicts and facilitating Change Advisory Board meetings.
  • Change approver: Ensures the change will meet the customer’s needs and that the customer has accepted the change. The approver ensures the request includes all required documentation. They also review the testing plan for completeness and communicates with all stakeholders as required.
  • Change implementer: Executes the change implementation tasks and verifies that they are completed. They work through the entire ITSM Process to ensure only approved tasks are executed and only within the approved start and end times. When necessary, the implementer escalates any issues that arise and communicates all task outcomes.

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