Change Management is becoming more important for businesses and with organizations dealing with challenges like continuous integration and increased regulatory scrutiny, making excellent change processes a vital part of everyday IT operations is a must-have. As companies release additional proprietary apps and services they need to update those apps frequently to ensure they work on diverse operating systems. Hardware optimization is just as important, with checking hardware environments on a regular basis to ensure it is capable of supporting such a flexible application ecosystem becoming a necessity. All of these factors come together to create an environment in which change is a common part of IT operations.
This shifting operational environment facing IT teams is altering traditional change paradigms. The days of sitting back and waiting on managerial approvals, change advisory board meetings and similar lines of oversight are gone. Organizations must become agile and responsive in how they handle change, and an excellent change process is paramount to achieving this goal. Follow these five steps to put your IT team on the path to change management excellence:
1. Log Everything
Documentation is the first component of any strategy aimed at accelerating change operations. If you want to empower your workers to make changes to the configuration without going through as many stages of managerial approval, you need to make sure they can quickly undo those changes if they trigger any unexpected consequences.
For example, an IT worker with a scheduled change that involves moving a server would normally need to get approval from at least one manager before moving forward on the task. In most cases, the approval process would involve multiple checks and balances over the course of the process to make sure everything is going smoothly. A relatively routine change now ends up being slowed at multiple points, leading to inefficiency. Eliminating these approvals allows IT teams to work faster and be more responsive. However, the lack of a second pair of eyes looking over changes increases the risk of error. If you document everything that goes into the change, you can quickly undo any mistakes and avoid problems.
2. Automate When Possible
Automation eliminates human error, something that is extremely important when dealing with more tedious change processes. Tedium is the mother of error, and people are more prone to disengage and make mistakes when they are bored. Finding ways to automate processes within change tasks plays an essential role in achieving operational excellence, especially as automation frees your workers to spend more time on more prioritized tasks.
3. Balance Structure With Freedom
Structure is needed to ensure that team members follow the appropriate best practices when making changes. A knowledge center can be a great resource in this area. However, you must also be able to avoid process rigidity, ensuring that your structure serves as a framework for IT teams to operate in, but are handcuffed by policy. Finding this balance is easier with advanced IT service management tools that ensure users have the information they need to make intelligent decisions.
4. Train Your Employees
Creating a faster, more responsive IT team means training your workers to make the most of the ITSM tools that assist with managing changes. Make sure you clarify expectations, show workers exactly how to leverage your ITSM suite to accelerate change, and make sure everybody has a clear understanding of the role they can play in accelerating change while minimizing risk.
5. Maintain Flexibility
Establishing good change processes is only the beginning; change excellence depends on being able to evolve constantly as new challenges emerge. Be ready to fine tune your change operations on an ongoing basis to maintain excellence.
The right ITSM solution will allow businesses to follow these steps and build out change strategies that will empower their IT organization.