What to Include in an ITIL Change Management Template

An ITIL change management template can streamline the ITSM workflow, reduce errors, and improve efficiency.

Below, we’ll look at the ITIL workflow and cover the most important elements to focus on when creating an ITIL template.

What Should Be Included in an ITIL Change Management Template?

ITIL provides detailed guidelines that describe how IT leaders can better manage and maintain IT services. ITIL is a complex and thorough set of guidelines designed for large organizations that need a well-defined framework for IT services management (ITSM). 

One workflow covered by ITIL’s guidelines is the process of adopting new technology and implementing changes to IT services.

In earlier versions of ITIL, this was referred to as “change management.”

ITIL 4, however, has renamed this process to “change enablement,” which focuses on:

  • Assessing and minimizing risks of IT service changes
  • Authorizing proposed changes
  • Managing the change schedule

An ITIL change management template, or change enablement template, should follow the steps listed below.

Initiate Change

Here are the steps to follow when initiating changes.

  • Define the type of change. There are three types of changes – normal, standard, and emergency. This should be defined when a new change is initiated.
  • Implement standard changes. Standard changes are preapproved and require no further assessment. These are frequent, low-risk changes that occur as a normal part of business.
  • Assess and implement emergency changes. Emergency changes are those that must be assessed and approved as soon as possible, to mitigate negative impacts to IT services.
  • Review normal changes. Normal changes are those that impact IT services and must be further reviewed by others, such as the Change Manager or the Change Advisory Board (CAB).

In the event that the change is a normal change, the workflow then proceeds to the next step, submission and review of the Request for Change (RFC).

Submit and Review the Request for Change (RFC)

Changes that fall within the scope of normal changes must be submitted via an RFC.

Once that document is received, these steps should be followed:

  • Log the change. The receipt of the RFC should first be logged.
  • Review the RFC. Next, the RFC is reviewed for completeness. Incomplete RFCs are returned to the submitter for revision. Complete RFCs are assessed and evaluated. 
  • Assess the change. At this stage, changes are assessed to determine their impact to the business and IT systems.

Once the change has been assessed and its business impacts have been determined, it must be evaluated.

Evaluate, Authorize, and Implement

As the change moves forward, a specific solution is devised, authorized, and implemented.

Here are the steps to include during this stage of the change:

  • Evaluate the change. During this stage, the impacts of the change are balanced against possible solutions, then the best option is chosen. 
  • Authorize the change. The recommended solution is delivered to the proper authority, the Change Authority, who will then either authorize the change as is, reject the request, or advise modifications.
  • Plan change updates. Updates based on the advice from the change authority is then added to the change if necessary.
  • Implement. Next, the change is built, tested, and implemented via the Release and Deployment Process.

Upon completion, the change is reviewed and closed.

Review and Closure

During the final stage of the change management process, two processes are undertaken:

  • Review. Independent review confirms that the change has been completed successfully or, if necessary, monitored for a period of time before closure.
  • Closure. Upon confirmation that the change has succeeded, change records are then marked as complete and closed.

This workflow covers the essential steps in the ITIL change management process and every template should include these steps.

However, given the detailed nature of the ITIL guidelines, it is necessary to have a working knowledge of the ITIL process to make use of such a template. 

Next, we’ll provide some sources that offer more detailed descriptions of the ITIL change management process.

Further Reading

Here are a few resources that can provide deeper insights into ITIL:

All of these resources can be very useful for learning more about ITIL.However, successfully applying ITIL in the enterprise requires in-depth study. The interested professional, therefore, may wish to consider obtaining an ITIL certification.

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.