Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Get Started with ITIL Change Management

In the absence of a formal Change Management process, changes are usually handled as Service Requests. ITIL, however, clearly distinguishes between the two.

In general, Service Requests are routine modifications to front end and/or peripheral IT service components. The components are not usually vital to the delivery of the IT Service and calls to the Service Desk regarding one of these components is generally not a result of an IT infrastructure failure.

Service Requests also include the fulfillment of user requests for information. These activities, rarely have a significant impact on the IT infrastructure or the services it supports.

Changes, however, do have the potential to impact the IT infrastructure (and related IT Services) and are therefore classified differently and subject to more scrutiny. Typically, something is qualified to be classified as a Change if it modifies one of the major IT components involved in the delivery of the IT service.

For example, a modification to the hard drive on an application server would likely be classified as a change. Whereas, a change of the toner in a printer, generally would not be classified as a change, but instead as a Service Request.

Another way to look at it is to ask the question: if that component was broken, could the IT service it supports continue to function as it was designed to?

If the answer is no, it should probably be classified as a Change rather than a Service Request.

As these concepts appear to overlap, it is a useful idea for organizations to define (in advance) the parameters for classification. This means deciding the scope of Change Maanagement and defining what is will be classified as a change and what will remain a Service Request. Once the parameters are agreed upon, it’s also a good idea to create a Change Policy to include this information. This policy should be published in a location that is accessible to everyone.

As the process matures, the Policy should be updated to reflect the new scope. This way, individual Service Desk agents and/or Technicians are not left to guess and make ad hoc decisions about whether something is a Change or a Service Request.

Taking this approach, IT organizations just getting started with Change Management will find their efforts less frustrating.

ITIL & IT Service Management

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1 comment:

Ashish Shandilya said...

Thanks for sharing this useful info. Keep updating same way.
Regards, AshishChange Management