Exploring IT Change Management Best Practices

IT change management best practices

IT change management best practices are important for improving a company’s performance. Changes in a company’s information technology infrastructure library, or ITIL, have a major impact on how customers interact with that business and how that organization operates. For example, moving all of a company’s collaborative apps to the cloud will change the daily workflow for many of its employees, and transitioning to a mobile-first approach will alter how customers will likely engage with the organization. Whether these changes have a positive or negative impact on the business and how large that impact is will depend on how these changes in digital infrastructure are handled.

This is why a good ITIL change management process is vital to any business that is undergoing digital transformations. Change management consulting is a tool that enables businesses to apply a structured method of project management to minimize the risks of digital transformations and ensure positive outcomes. But what is change management consulting? And how does it better prepare your business to undergo changes in digital infrastructure? With change management consulting, a business’s board members and senior leaders collaborate with a hired consultant on how to best tailor the ITIL change management process to your business specifically.

Best Practices in Change Management

Plan for the Risks Your Organization Will Face

According to Atlassian, IT change management requires a delicate balance between speed and proper execution. It is just as important to complete a task properly the first time as it is to finish that task in a timely manner. There is no universal method of striking this balance, meaning companies will need to create a plan that accounts for their individual risks.

Every company has its own culture, risk tolerance, and regulatory requirements that should be addressed. A good change management consultant should run risk assessments to understand what challenges face the change management process. Data gathered from risk analyses can be used to adapt the change management process, enabling it to better mitigate future hurdles as well.

Simplify the Change Management Process as Much as Possible

Change management has a reputation for being a cumbersome, clunky process full of difficulties. Many professionals despise the documentation and constant board approvals that are inherent to the change management process. For example, employees in charge of writing and implementing code during the development of a new app can feel that these additional tasks take time away from more important work.

While some documentation and approvals are entirely necessary, too many additional tasks can slow the change management process down considerably. Metaphorically speaking, simple machines run smoother and have less chance of breaking down. Simplifying the process and removing unnecessary red tape will allow changes to happen more quickly and efficiently. Another benefit of simplifying the change management process whenever possible is that it makes keeping a team on the same page much easier. This will improve the overall collaboration involved in change management.

Adjust the Traditional CAB Model

Traditionally, IT organizations task a change advisory board (CAB) with assessing the technical and business implications of requested changes. This model is mostly effective, but it also has inherent shortcomings. These challenges include slow releases, clunky processes, and impediments to communication and collaboration. The CAB model can be adapted to address some of these shortcomings by making it more nimble. The goal when adapting the change advisory board model to your specific needs is to retain the value of the change advisory board’s assessments while giving change implementors more freedom. Consider making these changes to your CAB model:

  • Only require CAB approval and assessment when dealing with the riskiest changes.
  • Involve your CAB in strategy development to create practices that reduce the risk involved with digital transformations.
  • Allow for real-time communication with your CAB rather than waiting for in-person meetings to address major concerns

SkillSource is a consulting firm. Please contact us today if you are interested in working with our experienced change management consultants.