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Top 10 change management best practices in 2024

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Imagine trying to build a complex software system without a blueprint or a plan, unaware of potential challenges or roadblocks. Similarly, implementing changes in an IT organization without adhering to current change management best practices 2024 leads to unforeseen complications. 

An ideal change management software balances the need for speed with managing inherent risks. Organizations strive to implement changes without causing issues for customers or employees. In addition, they also aim to proceed without overwhelming the IT service desk with a flood of change-related incidents. Subsequently, to prevent such disruptions and potential costs, a robust IT change management process is essential. By following the Information Technology Infrastructure Library- ITIL change management best practices, businesses can prevent such disruptions and potential costs. Altogether, a smooth transition process is rest assured.

Join us as we navigate through the top 10 ITIL change management best practices to navigate this balancing act effectively.

Top 10 change management best practices in 2024

As of 2024, here are 10 best practices for using change management software:

1. Assess network infrastructure and develop a simplified strategy

People often perceive change management software as burdensome due to the additional tasks and processes it involves. Developers, especially, may feel hindered by these extra steps when pushing code live. Simplifying change management software processes stands first in the top 10 list of change management best practices. 

To effectively streamline change management processes, companies should begin by assessing their existing network infrastructure comprehensively. Virima’s (end-to-end IT management platform) automated IT discovery tools provide complete visibility into the IT infrastructure, including hardware, software, applications, network devices, and services. This comprehensive IT asset discovery and mapping enables a thorough understanding of the existing environment. Armed with this understanding, organizations can craft a robust modernization strategy that aligns with ITIL change management best practices. 

2. Enlist and define the key players in change management software

In the realm of change management best practices, it is imperative to establish clear roles and responsibilities. Key participants who ensure effective handling of the change process are:

  • Change manager: This pivotal role involves reviewing submitted Requests for Change (RFCs), planning change schedules, maintaining records in the Configuration Management Database (CMDB), and conducting impact analyses.
  • Designated change owner: Each change must have a designated owner responsible for overseeing the entire process from initiation to completion.
  • Change Advisory Board (CAB): Comprising a diverse group of stakeholders, the CAB meticulously evaluates changes from business, operational, and technical perspectives to gauge feasibility as well.
  • Emergency Change Advisory Board: This smaller, swift-response group stands ready to address unforeseen emergencies at short notice, thereby adhering to ITIL change management best practices.

Virima’s change management software solution provides highly customizable workflows that enable organizations to define the appropriate approval routing and involve the right stakeholders.

This collaborative approach ensures that all relevant parties, such as IT, change owners, and subject-matter experts, actively participate in the change planning and approval process. As a result, organizations improve their ability to navigate change seamlessly while adhering to ITIL change management best practices.

3. Implement agile methodology: Opt for iterative, incremental changes or releases

Change management best practices for 2024 emphasize gradually implementing smaller changes or releases using the Agile methodology. This approach ensures that when your IT department introduces significant changes, they are divided into smaller, more manageable segments. By doing so, your team adheres to Agile principles, fostering continuous improvement and responsiveness. This iterative approach enhances the quality of the changes and increases overall stakeholder satisfaction.

Besides, incorporating the ITIL4 service value chain is pertinent within the context of ITIL change management best practices as it offers a structured framework for understanding the various stages involved in delivering value through IT services. Breaking down the steps of the ITIL4 service value chain into smaller components allows for ongoing refinement. This includes: 

  • Design and transition: New or modified services are introduced, where change enablement plays a crucial role in service transition.
  • Obtain/build: Changes to infrastructure components, whether developed internally or sourced from third-party suppliers, are subject to change enablement processes.
  • Deliver and support: Changes typically impact service delivery and support operations, necessitating the involvement of these functions in assessment and approval.
  • Improve: Continuous improvements often require assessed and approved changes to be implemented effectively.

4. Make use of change management software in conjunction with configuration management

IT change management software requires configuration management to visualize the network to analyze the impact and record changes. Change management is a process that helps you handle unexpected changes to your software and systems. On the other hand, configuration management offers tools to automate this process. Overall, it ensures that all servers make changes correctly and consistently, thereby adhering to ITIL change management best practices in 2024.

Virima serves as an advanced tool for IT change and configuration management. To begin with, it offers a comprehensive CMDB solution. By utilizing Virima CMDB, you can efficiently maintain the integrity of all assets, critical for efficient change management software. In addition, the robust discovery capabilities of Virima enable the identification of devices, active scanning for vulnerabilities, prioritization based on risk assessment, mapping vulnerabilities to software updates, and assigning responsibility for vulnerable assets. Altogether, it has a lot of benefits to the ITIL change management software in terms of accessibility.

5. Think of the conventional CAB model approach

In the realm of ITIL change management best practices, it’s imperative to rethink the conventional approach to the Change Advisory Board (CAB) model. 

Historically, IT organizations have relied on CABs to evaluate the technical and business implications of change requests. However, this conventional process often results in slow releases, cumbersome procedures, and occasional communication gaps. Consequently, top-performing teams are rethinking the CAB model to implement ITIL change management best practices for 2024.

The goal is to uphold the intrinsic value these boards offer to our IT processes—It includes fostering communication and striking a balance between change necessity and associated risks.

This involves:

  • Seeking CAB approval exclusively for the most high-risk changes. Leveraging established tools like peer review, virtual checklists, and automation to efficiently handle-less risky alterations.
  • Empowering CABs with strategic roles, aiding teams in developing practices that mitigate risks and streamline change management software through process enhancements and automation.
  • Transitioning CABs into virtual, real-time entities, rather than relying on in-person meetings to address significant changes or process inquiries.

6. Encourage and prioritize open collaboration

A survey by McKinsey reveals that almost 25% of highly successful transformations were planned by teams of 50 or more people, whereas only 6% of unsuccessful transformations involved such large groups. This indicates that collaboration and cooperation play a crucial role in achieving successful transformations.

Transitioning from traditional CABs to agile DevOps groups, progressive teams are embracing a culture of collaboration, transparency, and real-time communication. Consequently, change management best practices serve as the linchpin, orchestrating seamless coordination across diverse teams. In today’s increasingly intricate organizational structures, the interconnected nature of changes, incidents, and problems underscores the necessity for collaborative efforts.

Overall, operating in silos is not effective for change management software. Therefore, organizations that actively promote open collaboration stand to enhance their ITIL change management best practices significantly.

7. Assess risk mitigation strategies

ITIL change management best practices emphasize the importance of actively assessing risk mitigation strategies as the first step in navigating organizational change. By implementing a robust risk management strategy, companies can proactively identify and address potential roadblocks that may arise during the change cycle. With the right tools and methodologies in place, organizations can anticipate barriers and identify negative trends early on.

Key challenges such as low employee engagement, resistance to change, budget overruns, application failures, and inadequate digital adoption can all pose significant risks to the success of change initiatives. Therefore, it is essential to prioritize IT risk management and assessment efforts to minimize the impact of these factors on the change process. By doing so, organizations can enhance their ability to adapt to change effectively and achieve their desired outcomes.

To manage and mitigate IT risks effectively, you can make use of Virima ITAM. Establishing an ITAM solution program, though not mandatory, offers significant benefits. It enables you to track changes within your network systems. This promptly records any modifications made while adhering to change management best practices. 

8. Embrace ITIL as guiding principles, not inflexible dictates

ITIL often receives criticism for its perceived rigidity and outdated nature. However, ITIL remains a valuable resource for IT teams. The issue lies not in ITIL’s inflexibility, but in how it’s approached.

When viewed strictly as rigid rules, ITIL processes can feel limiting. Instead, viewing ITIL as foundational guidelines allows organizations to leverage its strengths while evolving their change management software practices. This approach applies universally across frameworks like lean, DevOps, Agile, and Continuous Delivery (CD).

No framework, no matter how esteemed, can solve all organizational challenges at once. Rather than relying solely on frameworks or tools, organizations should prioritize fostering a supportive team culture. Just as a journey isn’t dictated solely by a map but also by unforeseen paths and stops, ITIL should serve as a guiding framework rather than strict rules. Flexibility in deviating from guidelines where they don’t add value is key.

9. Select tools that are well-known and widely accepted by your team

Implementing effective ITIL change management best practices for 2024 necessitates selecting tools that your development teams are already familiar with and eager to embrace. Integrating change management software seamlessly into existing tools not only streamlines the process but also enhances adoption rates. Requiring teams to adapt to unfamiliar tools or navigate multiple platforms can impede progress and hinder the timely delivery of updates to clients. 

10. Promote continuous improvement

Last but not least, ITIL change management best practices for 2024 emphasizes the imperative of promoting continuous improvement. Change management software and methodologies must evolve continually. This entails actively assessing metrics, gathering feedback, rectifying issues, and refining processes and technologies over time. To achieve this, it’s essential to:

  • Regularly review and update processes in response to feedback and emerging requirements.
  • Continuously monitor change performance metrics and adjust practices accordingly.
  • Stay abreast of new tools, technologies, and management approaches to enhance change processes.
  • Foster a culture of calculated risk-taking to facilitate ongoing transformation initiatives.

Embrace change management best practices for risk-free transformation

To conclude, successfully navigating change within an organization requires a strategic and well-planned approach. Implementing these top 10 change management best practices ensures that the process is efficient, inclusive, and sustainable.

By adhering to these best practices and utilizing advanced solutions such as Virima, organizations can mitigate the risks associated with change, enhance employee buy-in, and achieve desired outcomes more effectively. Change management is not a one-size-fits-all process. In contrast, these guiding principles, coupled with innovative tools, offer a robust framework adaptable to various contexts and challenges. Ultimately, a successful Virima change management strategy not only leads to the achievement of organizational goals but also cultivates a resilient and adaptive workforce ready to thrive in an ever-evolving business landscape.

Ready to take your strategy of change management software to the next level with these best practices? Discover how Virima can help your organization streamline processes and drive successful change. 

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