Information technology is changing every day.
Business companies, public and private organizations need a structured process that help them on the way to making changes in information technology.
One of that processes or frameworks is Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) that organizations are using to manage and control changes to their IT systems, services, and infrastructure.
ITIL framework has many steps and processes which are linked with each other to manage and smooth delivery of change . One of that steps is ITIL change request.
In this blog post. We’ll explain the ITIL framework and its steps specifically ITIL change request and what is process of ITIL change request and what are best practices to make ITIL change request.
Let’s dig deeper to have a complete understanding of these concepts.
What is ITIL Framework and ITIL Change Management?
The ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) framework is a set of best practices for IT service management (ITSM) that provides a common framework for managing and delivering IT services.
ITIL is designed to help organizations align their IT strategies and goals with the overall objectives of the business, and to improve the quality and value of IT services.
ITIL change management is one of the key components of the ITIL framework. It is the process of managing and controlling changes to IT systems, services, and infrastructure.
The purpose of ITIL change management is to minimize the risk of disruptions and negative impacts on IT services, and to ensure that changes are aligned with the overall IT strategy and organizational goals.
The change management process includes steps such as identifying the need for a change, assessing and evaluating the change, authorizing and implementing the change, and reviewing and closing the change request.
ITIL change management has many types and each one comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Organizations must understand these before making big changes in their IT systems.
ITIL Change Request- Definition
ITIL change request is a formal request to make a change to an IT system, service, or infrastructure.
It is a document that describes the anticipated change, the reasons for that change, assessment of risks of ITIL change and impact of that change on the IT system, service and the organization as a whole. It also identifies what resources will be required to implement that change.
The ITIL change request process is designed to ensure that changes are managed in a controlled, efficient, and effective manner, minimizing the risk of disruptions and negative impacts on IT services.
ITIL Change Request Process
Following are the four main steps involved in ITIL change request process:
1. Identification of the need for a change
The identification of the need for a change is the first step in the ITIL change request process. This step involves identifying and documenting the reasons why a change is necessary. The identification of the need for a change can come from various sources, such as customers, users, IT staff, or business leaders.
During this step, the change initiator should gather information about the current state of the IT service or system and the desired state after the change is implemented. They should also identify the impact of the change on the IT service and the organization as a whole. This information should be used to create a detailed change request document that describes the proposed change, the reasons for the change, and the impact of the change on the IT service and the organization.
It is also important that the change initiator evaluates the priority and urgency of the change, this will determine the change category (standard, emergency, normal, etc) and the change type (minor, major, etc) which will further determine the change management process, approvals, and documentation required.
Once the need for the change has been identified and the change request document has been completed, the change request is submitted to the appropriate change management authority for review and assessment.
2. Initial assessment and evaluation of the change
The initial assessment and evaluation of the change involves reviewing the change request document and assessing the proposed change to determine whether it is feasible, appropriate, and aligned with the overall IT strategy and organizational goals. The change management authority will assess the risks and benefits of the change.
The change management authority will also determine if the change request is in line with the change management procedures and policies and if it needs further approvals based on the change category and type. They may also consult with other stakeholders such as IT staff, business leaders, or external experts to gather additional information or feedback.
Once the initial assessment and evaluation is complete, the change management authority will make a decision on whether to authorize, reject or ask for more information on the change request. If the change request is authorized, it is then passed on to the implementation step of the ITIL change request process.
3. Authorization and implementation of the change
The authorization and implementation are about obtaining formal approval for the proposed change, and then executing the change in a controlled and efficient manner.
Once the change request is authorized by the change management authority, the IT team responsible for implementing the change will be given the necessary approvals and permissions to carry out the change. Before the change is implemented, the IT team will typically create a detailed plan outlining the steps that will be taken to implement the change, including any testing, backups, and rollback procedures that will be put in place to ensure the integrity of the IT service during the change process.
During the implementation of the change, the IT team will carry out the necessary actions to implement the change, such as updating software, configuring systems, or installing new hardware. They will also monitor the change to ensure that it is progressing as planned and that any issues or problems are identified and addressed quickly.
4. Review and closure of the change request
The review and closure of the change request is the final step in the ITIL change request process. This step involves evaluating the outcome of the change and documenting the results, and then closing the change request.
During the review step, the IT team will review the change to ensure that it was implemented successfully, and that the IT service is functioning as expected. They will also review the change request documentation to ensure that it is accurate and complete. They will also conduct a post-implementation review (PIR) to check if the change has met its objectives, if the benefits are achieved, and if there are any issues that need to be addressed.
If any issues are identified, the IT team will take appropriate action to resolve them and document the results. Once the review is complete, and the change is considered successful, the change request is closed.
The closure of the change request is the formal process of documenting the change and its outcomes, lessons learned, and any follow-up actions that are required. This documentation is important as it serves as a record of the change, and can be used to improve future changes and to measure the success of the change management process.
It’s important to note that the closure of the change request is not the end of the change management process, as it is essential to keep an eye on the impact of the change in the long term, and to conduct a continual service improvement process, using the feedback and results of the change to improve future changes.
Best practices for ITIL change request
Clear and detailed documentation
Clear and detailed documentation is a best practice in the ITIL change request process. It is essential to ensure that all information related to the change request is accurately and completely recorded, so that the change can be managed and controlled in an effective manner.
This documentation should be complete, accurate and up-to-date, it should also include the change category and type, the change initiator, the change management authority and any approvals needed.
It’s also important to document the plan for implementing the change, including the specific steps that will be taken, any testing, backups, and rollback procedures that will be put in place, and any other relevant information.
Effective communication and collaboration
Effective communication and collaboration are key best practices in the ITIL change request process. Effective communication ensures that all stakeholders involved in the change process are informed and kept up-to-date with the progress of the change, while collaboration ensures that all stakeholders work together to achieve a common goal.
Effective communication in the ITIL change request process involves sharing information about the change request with all stakeholders, including the change management authority, the IT team, and any other relevant parties such as business leaders, customers, or external experts.
This communication should include information about the proposed change, the reasons for the change, the impact of the change on the IT service and the organization as a whole, and the resources required to implement the change.
Collaboration in the ITIL change request process involves working together with all stakeholders to achieve a common goal. Collaboration also involves working together with the IT team to plan and implement the change, and to review and close the change request.
Risk assessment and management
Risk assessment helps organizations to identify, evaluate and manage the potential risks associated with a change, in order to minimize the impact on IT services and the organization as a whole.
The risks can be categorized as IT service risks, IT infrastructure risks or business risks.
Once the risks have been identified, risk management is used to minimize the impact of the risks. This includes taking steps to mitigate, transfer, or accept the risk.
Risk mitigation involves taking steps to reduce the likelihood or impact of the risk, such as implementing security controls or testing the change in a non-production environment. Risk transfer involves transferring the risk to a third party, such as an insurance company or a vendor. And risk acceptance involves deciding to accept the risk as a consequence of the change.
Regular review and evaluation
Regular review and evaluation in the ITIL change request process involves regularly monitoring the progress of the change, and evaluating the outcomes of the change to ensure that it is meeting its objectives. This includes conducting a post-implementation review (PIR) which is a formal process of evaluating the change after it has been implemented.
It’s also important to evaluate the change management process itself, to ensure that it is functioning as intended, and that it is meeting the organization’s IT service management policies and procedures. This can include conducting regular audits or reviews of the change management process, and making improvements as necessary.
This can involve monitoring performance metrics, such as uptime, response time, and error rates, and taking appropriate action if there are any issues.
The ITIL change request process is a critical component of ITIL change management and can help organizations improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and security of their IT systems and services. By following best practices and addressing common challenges, organizations can ensure that changes are implemented smoothly and effectively, and that the overall quality of their IT services is improved.