Understanding ITIL types of changes: A comprehensive guide
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Understanding ITIL types of changes: A comprehensive guide

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In any IT industry, change is inevitable. The key to thriving in this dynamic environment is not just to manage change, but to master it. The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) provides a robust framework for effectively managing ITIL types of changes. Besides, it plays a vital role in minimizing disruptions and ensuring seamless IT service delivery. Whether running a small business or managing a large enterprise, understanding the different ITIL types of changes is crucial to maintaining operational stability and efficiency. 

This comprehensive guide will delve into the four core ITIL change management types. In addition, we’ll also reveal how leveraging these principles can transform your change management software to a strategic advantage. 

What is ITIL change management?

ITIL change management software comprises a series of processes and procedures within the ITIL framework designed to systematically manage modifications to IT systems, services, and infrastructure.

Objectives of ITIL change management software include:

  • Minimize risk: Reduce the likelihood and impact of incidents related to changes as well.
  • Ensure standardization: Use standardized procedures for handling changes.
  • Enhance communication: Improve communication and coordination among stakeholders.
  • Increase efficiency: Implement changes more efficiently and effectively.
  • Continuous improvement: Continually improve the process based on feedback and performance metrics.

Understanding ITIL types of changes

ITIL change management types and procedures actively minimize risk by orchestrating every action within your IT department. Consequently, these procedures ensure that every change yields intended positive results. Hence, it averts unintended negative consequences that could affect operations across your business.

Flow chart explaining ITIL types of changes
Flow chart explaining ITIL types of changes

ITIL types of changes 1: Normal changes

Employees or external service users, kick off standard ITIL types of changes by submitting a Request for Change (RFC).  These Normal ITIL types of changes may necessitate a Change Advisory Board (CAB) evaluation, depending upon the risk of change.

Examples of normal ITIL types of changes include making slight alterations to a process and updating minor configurations on a system. In addition, it also includes installing minor software upgrades, changing minor hardware components, updating process documentation, etc. The list also includes making minor adjustments to a website and adding minor features to a software application as well.

Process for managing normal ITIL types of changes

Let’s consider a real-time scenario of normal ITIL types of changes in a corporate environment:

At a large financial services firm, the IT department receives a request from several employees for an upgrade to the accounting software used for processing client transactions. This upgrade is necessary to incorporate new regulatory requirements and to enhance the efficiency of the accounting process. The process involved in these normal ITIL types of changes include:

Step 1: RFC submission

Employee submits an RFC through the company’s IT service desk detailing the need for the software upgrade. The RFC includes relevant information about the software version, proposed changes, and the expected benefits.

Step 2: RFC review

The change manager evaluates the RFC and verifies the necessity and feasibility of the upgrade. Later, he gathers technical requirements such as system compatibility and potential impacts on other software systems.

Step 3: CAB evaluation

The CAB convenes to assess the RFC. They analyze the potential risks, benefits, and costs associated with the software upgrade. Subsequently, they consider factors such as downtime, resource availability, and regulatory compliance.

Step 4: RFC approval

After the CAB approves it, senior management forwards the RFC for final approval. Once senior management green-lights the change, stakeholders within the organization obtain the necessary permissions.

Step 5: Change coordination

The change manager collaborates with the IT team responsible for software deployments to schedule the upgrade at a suitable time. During the implementation of these ITIL types of changes, factors such as disruptions and peak usage periods are also considered.

Step 6: Post-Implementation Review (PIR)

After successfully deploying the software upgrade, the change manager conducts a post-implementation review. Transitioning to this phase, they verify that the upgrade was completed without significant issues and confirm that the new features and functionalities are working as intended. 

Read: Avoiding Stragglers During Your Next Data Center Migration

ITIL types of changes 2: Standard changes

Standard changes are one among the ITIL change management types, which are pre-approved and low-risk and follow a specific procedure. These ITIL types of changes are routine and frequent, with predictable outcomes. In addition, these ITIL change management types eliminate the need for full assessment and authorization each time. Consequently, they are often automated to alleviate the burden on ITSM teams.

Standard ITIL types of changes cover routine IT tasks such as software updates, password resets, server backups, and configuration adjustments. In addition, it also includes security patch applications, hardware installations, maintenance tasks, network configuration changes, etc.

Process for managing standard ITIL types of changes

Let’s consider a real-time scenario of standard ITIL types of changes in a corporate environment:

Step 1: Pre-approval

Imagine a scenario where a company regularly updates its software to ensure IT security and functionality. Before any software update occurs, the IT department reviews the proposed changes. Pre-approved updates include routine and low-risk tasks, such as minor bug fixes or patch installations, without requiring further assessment. This pre-approval streamlines the process, as a result allowing for quicker implementation.

You can also make use of network auto discovery tools to simplify this task. These tools can apply automatic software updates and patches whenever scheduled.

Step 2: Documentation and procedures

Once the update is pre-approved, detailed procedures and documentation are established, thereby outlining the exact steps to be taken during the update process.

With the help of Virima Visual Impact Display (ViVID™), users can create customized views and reports. You can export these reports and include them in the documentation, thereby providing insights on standard ITIL types of changes. While it is not a traditional documentation tool like a word processor or a wiki, the visual and data-rich outputs from ViVID™ can be an integral part of a comprehensive documentation strategy, especially for IT infrastructure and change management.

Step 3: Execution

With pre-approval and detailed procedures in place, the update can be executed swiftly. Subsequently, IT staff follow the documented steps to implement the update without the need for additional authorization. 

In case of medium-risk standard ITIL types of changes like maintenance tasks, or network configuration changes, you can make use of Virima tools for task prioritization and resource allocation. 

By integrating with Virima discovery and service mapping tools, ViVID™ provides a detailed and near real-time view of the entire IT environment. This visibility helps you to understand the current state of IT assets, configurations, and dependencies. As a result, with this visibility, change managers can allocate resources more efficiently during the execution phase. Additionally, they can also identify which assets are affected by these ITIL change management types and prioritize tasks accordingly.

Step 4: Post-Implementation Review (PIR)

Following the update, a post-implementation review is conducted to ensure everything went smoothly.

ITIL types of changes 3: Major changes

Major ITIL types of changes, such as website upgrades, systems migrations, or service provider transitions, pose high risks and impacts across various departments. Without effective handling, including thorough assessment, planning, and communication, these ITIL types of changes could significantly disrupt business operations. Approval for such ITIL change management types may necessitate a dedicated change advisory board.

Major ITIL change management types encompass various significant transformations, such as integrating a new ERP system, merging with another entity, shifting to a different location, etc. Besides, it also includes altering the business model, upgrading infrastructure, restructuring the company’s management or organizational structure, etc.

Process for managing major ITIL types of changes

Let’s take the example of a company implementing a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system as a major ITIL change.

Step 1: Initiation & assessment

The decision-makers recognize the necessity for major ITIL types of changes to streamline processes and improve efficiency across departments. Later, a thorough assessment evaluates the current system’s limitations, ERP options, and potential impacts on departments like finance, human resources, supply chain, and IT. To simplify this assessment process, you can make use of Virima’s IT asset discovery and dependency mapping tools. 

Tools like automated discovery and ViVID™ service maps offer a comprehensive view of the organization’s current IT setup. This understanding is pivotal for evaluating the current system’s limitations, readiness for change, and pinpointing areas susceptible to proposed changes. Additionally, Virima’s Application Dependency Mapping (ADM) illuminates the connections among various IT assets and components. Such insights aid in evaluating how changes may affect other aspects of the infrastructure. Altogether, it ensures thorough consideration of dependencies to prevent unforeseen disruptions.

Step 2: Planning

Subsequently, the team shall develop a detailed plan outlining the steps required for implementing the new ERP system. IT teams can use service mapping during ITIL change planning to assess the potential impact of proposed changes. This process enables them to pinpoint affected services or components and understand their interplay. As a result, teams can mitigate risks and ensure smooth implementation.

Step 3: Communication

Throughout the planning phase, communication channels are established. Therefore, stakeholders are kept informed about the upcoming ITIL change management types.

Step 4: Approval

The significant impact of the ERP implementation on various aspects of the organization necessitates seeking approval from a dedicated change advisory board.

Step 5: Execution, monitoring & control

After approval, the execution phase starts with deploying the new ERP system, migrating data, configuring it as per business needs, and conducting user training. The change managers continuously monitor progress, and promptly address any deviations from the plan. A Configuration Management Database (CMDB) is indeed a valuable tool for preventing future changes in IT systems. 

By storing information about past ITIL changes, a CMDB allows IT teams to analyze what worked well and what didn’t in previous modifications. This analysis helps in understanding the impact of ITIL types of changes on the system.

Step 6: Closure & Post-Implementation Review (PIR)

Once the new ERP system is successfully implemented and operational, the project is formally closed. Subsequently, a post-implementation review is conducted to evaluate the outcomes, lessons learned, and the extent to which the project objectives were achieved.

ITIL types of changes 4: Emergency changes

Emergency changes belong to the most crucial ITIL change management types that seek immediate attention. These are necessary when immediate risks threaten business operations, such as security flaws or critical system failures. To swiftly resolve issues while minimizing negative impacts, IT expedites these types of ITIL changes.

Emergency ITIL types of changes encompass various scenarios such as restoring a malfunctioning system or service, fixing critical security vulnerabilities, replacing failed hardware components, resolving major network outages, and addressing critical software bugs, etc.

Process for managing emergency ITIL types of changes

At a large financial institution, the primary transaction processing system suddenly crashes during peak business hours halting all banking operations. In response to this critical issue, change managers initiate an emergency change process.

Step 1: Identification and initiation

The IT operations team quickly identifies the system failure and initiates an emergency change request to restore the transaction processing system. These kinds of ITIL types of changes bypass the normal RFC process due to the urgency of the situation.

Step 2: Expedited assessment

Recognizing the urgency, the assessment process is expedited. The team focuses on rapidly assessing the impact of the system failure, potential risks, and benefits of proposed solutions, aiming to swiftly restore normal operations.

Step 3: Emergency authorization

With the severity of the situation, approval is sought from the Emergency Change Advisory Board (ECAB) or a designated authority capable of making rapid decisions. The ECAB swiftly reviews the proposed change and grants authorization to proceed with the emergency change.

Step 4: Rapid implementation

With authorization secured, the IT team implements the necessary changes as quickly as possible. Hence, this rapid implementation helps the team to mitigate the identified risks and restore service to the transaction processing system. Altogether, it ensures minimal disruption to banking operations and customer service.

Also read: Do Your Change Management Tools Alert You to Unplanned Changes?

In the realm of IT change management, precision and foresight are critical. Without a robust system in place, managing changes within IT infrastructure can lead to disruptions and inefficiencies. Fortunately, advanced tools and methodologies offer the necessary support to streamline change processes and mitigate risks.

Enter Virima, a leader in IT operations and service management solutions. Virima offers innovative tools that simplify and enhance IT change management practices. Among these tools, service mapping and ViVID™ visualization technologies stand out for their ability to provide clear, comprehensive insights into IT environments. In the upcoming section, you’ll get to know how Virima service mapping and ViVID™ help you to master all ITIL types of changes.

Virima service mapping and ViVID™ for mastering ITIL types of changes

Service mapping is integral to effective ITIL change management, providing comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date records of IT business services. By revealing IT interdependencies and offering dynamic visual depictions of component interactions, service mapping aids in forecasting ITIL processes, change impacts, and risk mitigation as well. 

Furthermore, Virima’s change impact analysis method utilizes detailed service mapping and ViVID™ visualization capabilities to assess the potential consequences of proposed changes. This meticulous approach enables change managers to identify and proactive risk mitigation. Hence, a smooth transition and effective adaptation to new changes is rest assured. 

In addition to this, by leveraging Virima’s advanced tools, such as automatic configuration discovery, one-click CMDB updates, and ViVID™, organizations can streamline the ITIL change process and maintain near real-time visibility into their IT landscape. 

So, what are you waiting for?

Discover Virima’s solutions for all ITIL types of changes and embark on the path to seamless, efficient ITIL change implementation today!

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