ITIL Change Management: Challenges and Benefits

ITIL Change Management: Challenges and Benefits
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IT is without question the most transformative department in industry. Subject to weekly, sometimes even daily changes, there is a vast scope for proper IT change management.

After all, can you imagine simply implementing changes without readying staff, or outlining the associated risks?

That’s where ITIL change management pays dividends. The process involves the management of both people and processes, which are viewed as two separate yet equally important components.

Process Maps-infographic

Source image: Process Maps

Above all else, with the right ITIL change management strategy in play, you’ll be positioned to understand and minimize risks accordingly.

There are two main expectations with IT services:

  • They should be reliable, stable, and predictable
  • But capable of fast modifications to keep up with ever-evolving business requirements / trends.

Your ITIL change management philosophy will offer a formal process for accomplishing change, helping you and your team navigate through obstacles.

Being able to regulate IT changes will offer control, organization, and structure. This is designed to make change more useful, and to bring some understanding to an otherwise uncertain scope.

Activities tend to mature in line with company growth, but as most companies will tell you this won’t always go as expected. This is especially true when you have no predefined direction.

ITIL change management will help you define clear roles and responsibilities, significantly speeding up the implementation of new procedures.

There are however some challenges which are worth evaluating. With the knowledge of what to expect, you can either reduce the impact of challenges, or perhaps avoid them altogether.

With this being said, you’re bound to face your own unique challenges, but these should be embraced as part of a continuous improvement approach to change.

Challenges

Everyone has a different opinion on what works best. This can create tension and conflict, which should be mitigated with your ITIL change management plan.

Implementation can bring many contradictions with it. Everyone swears by different practices, but the practice which is most relevant to you is the one that works.

It should be tailored to your company circumstances, accounting for personal principles which make your organization unique. This will be enhanced by mastering relevant tools and techniques.

Change management isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, though it’s a process that’s often colloquialized and considered the holy grail.

Everyone has their own opinion, but it’s the internal IT change leaders whose opinions hold the most weight. Stakeholders usually instigate change at their pace, when and how they see fit.

This is a response to the increasing scope of change within departments. Change must be performed quicker, without sacrificing quality and efficiency.

Change has to be embraced as part of organizational culture, and essentially embedded in everyday activities. Never has the change management process meant so much to customer opinion.

Change always impacts the customer, so the right ITIL change management process will add value for the user.

This is great in theory, but you’ll need the resources to proceed. Unfortunately, not everyone has what they need to radically overhaul infrastructure, which is often necessary.

Convincing those responsible for the budget is no easy task, but you’ll have to become true change champions to secure the resources you need to change. By promoting the benefits of your new process, you’ll give yourself a much better chance of securing the all-important funds you need.

Benefits

So, what are the benefits of effective ITIL change management? Being clear on them will make it easier to gain sponsorship from a newly motivated workforce.

If you’re seeking inspiration for motivating your workforce, why not engage them with some fun games and activities?

Here are a few of the most important benefits:

Protection

Services in the live environment will be much better protected, with less visible malfunctions which can easily snowball into further problems.

When changes are handled badly, new incidents can surface in real time, ultimately impacting your relationship with customers. Your change management procedures will strengthen your rapport with consumers, while bolstering your online services.

Customer Satisfaction

When change fails, it fails spectacularly, and in a public setting too. When customers observe failures, they’re considerably more likely to leave a transaction dissatisfied.

Can you imagine the effect this has on the perception of your company, especially from a word of mouth perspective. You should perceive customers to be watching your every move.

Since customer satisfaction is a number one priority, there is a huge incentive to manage change properly, especially when it will influence company performance.

Easier Follow-Up

With business climates changing so much, IT services are often left to follow up. Your team will have greater confidence with a well-managed change process, with efficient interface towards the business.

Successful implementation will result in speedier reactions to changing environments, greater follow up to change, and a knock on effect on a string of internal business processes.

Better Staff Efficiency

Staff will obviously prefer working in a non-chaotic business environment, one created by an organized approach to change.

A controlled environment is conducive to better performance. Staff will understand their roles and responsibilities, the authority figures they should turn too, and the critical stakeholders involved in the process.

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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