ITIL Change Management Overview

What is ITIL change management? This is a frequently asked question recently, and I can see why so many are asking, because it’€™s almost impossible to find a definition for this term. You can dig through the best search engines all day, and never find something that outright tells you. It’s a headache.

Well, ITIL change management is basically change management pertaining to technologies, and is usually technology-assisted as well, through various record keeping software, some specialized for the process.

But, like any change management situation, many of the core principles still apply, if with slight idealistic changes. What differences are there in this situation, versus other change management scenarios?

Well, we’ve talked a lot about the primary hurdle of change management being the resistance to change, and with this, it can go one of two ways – it can either be far more severe, or it can be significantly reduced, depending on the environment involved.

In the case of not affecting an actual IT department directly, but changing technologies for regular users and staff, it can be considerable more of a struggle, because many people aren’t techies. Basically, the software they use to perform their tasks, they’ve mastered quite expertly through repetition and necessity. However, they may not be that adept at technology in general, and so the need to learn new software can come as a bit of a daunting task for them.

Admittedly, in recent times, this aspect has reduced, and as more generations brought up living with technology come into the workplace, and previous, more phobic generations retire, this will continue to decline, but for the time being, this is still an issue.

On the other hand, if affecting a department directly involved with the science of technology on a larger scale, such as an IT department itself, this is often not so much of a problem. What resistance is met with change here is more due to affinity than apprehension.

IT people can grow fond of specific systems they’ve used, and will be possibly slightly reticent to abandon them for something new just out of nostalgia or mild comfort. But, once they see the benefits of upgrades or changes, they’re usually pretty easy to bring around.

However, the bigger distinction than this with ITIL is the management process itself, which is very much more assisted with technology, keeping meticulous records of every modification of processes changed, step by step.

A multitude of software designs have been created around this, creating a flow record set of the change process, raising events whenever a change is instituted, and another when it is closed, so that metrics of the effects of a change can be clearly measured and documented.

When the change involves technology, this kind of measurement is incredibly important, but people are also finding that the management process of ITIL does also work outside of technology-related change for an increased accuracy in record keeping and logistics for implementing bigger change projects. As a result, researching change management software based around the ITIL change management concept may be worth your time, even if the changes you plan to implement are not directly based around technology as a subject.
 

Christopher Smith
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.
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