Change Process Owner vs. Other ITIL Change Management Roles

The Change Process Owner plays a key role in ITIL change management, and it is crucial for any business using ITIL to clearly define this role and its responsibilities.

Below, we’ll learn more about this role, why it matters, and how it fits into ITIL’s overall approach to change management. First, though, it is important to understand what change management is in the context of ITIL.

ITIL Change Management: Key Concepts

To understand what a Change Process Owner is, it is first necessary to understand ITIL and ITIL Change Management.

Here is a high-level overview of these concepts:

  • ITIL is a set of best practices and guidelines, or an IT framework, designed to streamline IT service management (ITSM)
  • The ITIL life cycle contains multiple sub-disciplines, or categories, all of which are designed to optimize the delivery and management of IT services
  • One of those categories is Service Transition, which includes change management as one of its functions
  • Effective change management minimizes disruptions to IT services, reduces the risk of service transition, and more
  • The Change Process Owner is one of several roles within ITIL’s change management process

These are just a few of the basic concepts that can help define ITIL change management. For more in-depth overviews of these ideas, see the links at the bottom of this post.

What Is a Change Process Owner?

The Change Process Owner is responsible for essential tasks related to IT service changes.

This person will be working closely with other roles in ITIL Change Management to ensure that changes are approved, documented, communicated, scheduled and implemented safely.

Their tasks include:

  • Defining the change process
  • Creating and maintaining support mechanisms
  • Liaising between departments, change teams, and other stakeholders
  • Reporting to the change advisory board (CAB) and change manager
  • Adjusting the change process when needed

Though this role’s duties often overlap with other roles in ITIL change management, it is important not to confuse this role with other, similar-sounding titles.

Change Process Owner vs. Other Roles in ITIL Change Management

There are quite a few ITIL change management roles, many of which sound nearly identical. 

Understanding the difference between these roles and their duties – and making sure that these differences are clearly defined in your organization – is important in order to ensure ITIL changes are processed smoothly and efficiently.

Let’s see how a few of these other roles compare to that of the Change Process Owner.

Change Manager

This role heads up the change advisory board (CAB) and, among other things, they are responsible for assessing, reviewing, and authorizing changes.

The ITIL Change Manager is ultimately responsible for executing IT changes with minimal disruptions to IT services.

Since this role carries so much responsibility, it unsurprisingly has the highest expectations in terms of job experience and capabilities. Those who operate as the Change Manager typically have extensive experience in IT service management (ITSM), IT service change management, and IT leadership.

Change Requester

The Change Requester is the one who requests the change in the first place.

When requesting an IT service change, the requester will perform several tasks, such as identifying a problem, developing a solution, filling out a Request for Change (RFC), and submitting the change request.

They will also work closely with other members of the change team throughout the process by providing information, making progress reports, and ensuring that the change is executed appropriately.

Change Approver

The Change Approver, as the title suggests, is responsible for approving a change before it is reviewed by the CAB.

To this end, they will evaluate the proposed change, review the documentation, and communicate with the relevant parties before forwarding it to the Change Manager for further review.

Change Team

The change team is the team that carries out the change process.

This team will vary in composition, depending on the change in question. These members will usually be assigned by those overseeing the change process, such as the Change Manager, the Change Process Owner, and the CAB.

The Change Advisory Board (CAB)

The CAB is the committee assigned to assess, review, and authorize changes. 

They are also responsible for resource allocation, prioritizing changes, scheduling changes, and reviewing them after completion.

This team will typically be composed of experts from several departments, and can include IT leaders such as network engineers, operations managers, business relationship managers, and other IT managers.

The CAB, as mentioned above, is led by the Change Manager, who has the final say in whether or not to implement changes.

The Emergency Change Advisory Board (ECAB)

The ECAB is composed of members from the CAB. 

As the name suggests, ECAB is responsible for reviewing, authorizing, and implementing emergency changes – that is, changes that have been categorized as extremely urgent and necessary to maintain business continuity and minimize disruptions.

Final Thoughts

The Change Process Owner, while an important role in ITIL change management, is only one among several team members who must work together to implement changes to IT services

To truly make the most of the ITIL guidelines, everyone on the team must work together and roles must be clearly defined. For more information on ITIL, check out our articles on IT change management and ITIL change management.

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.