Changes to IT applications or infrastructure must be managed in a controlled way to avoid risks to the stability and integrity of the production environment. IT managers must develop and implement a formal change management process to log, assess, prioritize, and approve changes in a consistent manner. This note, based on the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Service Management framework, describes the following aspects of change management:
- Definition and high-level process workflow.
- Scope of change management.
- Relationship with other IT functions.
- Key roles in the change management process.
- Benefits and costs of establishing a formal change management process.
- Pitfalls to watch out for when establishing a formal change management process.
Effective change management has an important role in protecting the business operation. The path to successful IT change management begins with senior management support and a solid process based on ITIL best practices.