IT change management is one of the key elements in IT service management (ITSM) that can help organizations ensure standardized processes and procedures are used at the times of change to minimize the impact of the change on the IT infrastructure.
Changes in your company’s IT infrastructure are inevitable and can happen at any time. As you know, changes can occur for many reasons like issues of regulatory compliance, in response to internal problems, or as attempts to improve efficiencies and productivity.
Change management can be an essential function and creates a systematic approach to addressing IT changes. It works to set up and implement standardized processes for all changes, while still dealing with the daily responsibilities of effectively keeping a company in operation. An effective change management strategy takes the element of surprise out of the equation by helping management and employees know what to expect.
And, while change management can be complex and challenging, you can make it incredibly simple with an efficient IT change management software that includes customizable tools. These tools can allow you to create, assess, approve, and implement changes to your IT environment.
Know the Risks of Going Without
Organizations are often constrained by budgets and forced to make challenging decisions about how to allocate costs. Some businesses hesitate to invest in change management software and, without a standardized change management process, face roadblocks they haven’t foreseen, experience direct hits on productivity, or encounter duplication of effort that can incur additional costs or decrease productivity.
IT change management software, however, can bring a host of benefits including:
- Helping the organization define its plans and prepare well in advance
- Improving IT services alignment towards business plans and goals
- Enhancing risk assessment capabilities
- Reducing the impact of the change in day-to-day business activities
- Improving employee productivity and service quality
Streamline Your Change Process
Changes vary by scope, schedule, and cost. Whether the change is a minor tweak to an existing process or a widespread adjustment to your organizational hierarchy, it can create an impact. A change management tool addresses business-critical aspects like:
- The expected impact on business
- How it will affect users
- Expected improvements to the organization
- An implementation timeline
- The anticipated amount of investment
At the core of effective change management is the issue of risk mitigation. When your business can foresee both outcomes and potential obstacles, you’re more likely to be able to address them effectively.
Expedite Your Implementation Process
One of the real advantages of effective change management is that it can help you implement plans efficiently. You can also streamline the incorporation of new procedures into your daily responsibilities. For example, a change management tool can help organize approvals. Making key management players aware of the outcome or effect of the proposed change can, expedite the implementation. More importantly, it can minimize the risk of unplanned downtime.
The idea is to make change management proactive, while keeping all of the members of your management team in the loop. Be sure to stay the course and make the work accessible to your stakeholders.
Start From the Inside
Changes of any size usually begin internally; in other words, as tickets in a help desk tool. Automated ticketing with integration using a change management tool can cover much of the legwork. Other advantages of integrating your help desk tool with change management can include:
- The person requesting change can select and track needed approvers.
- Tickets automatically generate and are assigned to the approvers.
- Approvals and denials are automatically sent as emails and documented within the system.
- Managers can easily follow change status.
- Once changes garner approval, they may be auto-assigned to a technician.
A help desk tool with a change management option can help your company maintain efficient workflows. Tickets for larger changes, like hardware changes, are immediately classified as high risk and sent to the appropriate members of management for approval.
Since risky tickets can have immediate and compelling consequences, accuracy, and timely delivery are crucial. Automation can eliminate the redundancy of obtaining multiple permissions and getting approvals into the right hands. It can also reduce human error and the potential for miscommunication.
When changes require approval from a panel or board of directors, a centralized change management function can assist members of the group in approving or denying the requests in real time, which can improve workflows.
In short, a help desk tool with change management functionality can help your organization achieve its objectives. By eliminating redundancies, taking the menial work tasks out of IT’s hands, automating approval processes, and streamlining communications, the help desk tool can make organizational change a breeze. Make room for it in your budget so you can have your pie, and eat it, too.
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Dana Watkins says
I am interested in IT Change management only, not help desk.
Josh Berman says
Hi, Dana. I’ll definitely keep this in mind for a future post. In the meantime, I strongly urge you to check out https://thwack.solarwinds.com. Shameless plug, but there’s loads of information on this subject there, plus you can gain access to tens of thousands of IT pros that can provide commentary as well!