ITIL Change Management Process

As businesses contend for market position and share, IT must be flexible and adaptive regarding its services. As a result, almost all businesses rely on the availability of IT services. Furthermore, businesses expect the IT department to consistently deliver effective and efficient changes without negatively impacting the services.

Successful ITIL Change Management safeguards the services provided to the business or customer while also facilitating Changes without unnecessary bureaucracy or control – ultimately, it could be described as ‘Change Enablement.’ In addition, ITIL Change Management aims to reduce the risks of service exposure, impact, and disruption by implementing changes successfully the first time, thus saving time and money. So, you can’t say enough about how valuable and important an effective and efficient ITIL Change Management Process is to IT and business.

What is ITIL Change Management?

Change Management, like other ITIL services, is a process that makes it easier for organizations to change their IT infrastructure. It develops a framework to assist organizations in requesting, prioritizing, authorizing, approving, scheduling, and implementing changes. In other words, it monitors and manages change throughout its entire lifecycle to control risk and limit disruptions caused by implemented changes.

Change management can be reactive when a problem requires a long-term solution or proactive when an IT team wants to introduce new software or processes into an organization. Every change will have a different impact and stakeholders. For example, relocating from on-premises software to cloud software may necessitate direct users, IT members, and security teams’ input, whereas changing an HR process might require input from every team in the company that onboards new hires. 

ITIL Change Management Objectives

Give Organizations the Authority to Manage and Control Their Changes:

Change management will give you more control over your change process and assist you in implementing changes with the least amount of risk. Change management ensures that all facets of each change, such as planning, risk assessment, and tracking implementation, are effectively managed by adhering to standard processes. Furthermore, using a service desk tool to track changes from beginning to end can help an organization better manage its IT infrastructure with well-planned and executed changes.

Assist Organizations in Better-implementing Changes

Change management allows organizations to stay on top of all change requests by tracking the entire change process. It also makes it easier to detect and limit unauthorized changes. Allowing users to submit a request for change (RFC) only through the service desk tool allows organizations to collect all necessary information about the change from the start and then decide whether or not to implement the change. Also, a strong approval system ensures that all permissions are given before any changes are made.

Allow for Continuous Improvement

Change management isn’t just for adverse conditions; its goal is to help organizations keep up with industry trends and make sure their infrastructure and processes are always getting better. It makes modifications smoothly and without disrupting service operations.

Types of Changes in ITIL

ITIL changes have different requirements, so not all changes are the same. For example, some modifications must be made immediately, while others need clearance from higher-ups. Changes, according to ITIL, are classified into three types: standard, normal, and emergency.

Standard Changes

These pre-approved changes have a low impact, are well-known, and have been documented. Therefore, a risk assessment and authorization are necessary when implementing standard changes for the first time. However, subsequent implementations can be performed without these safeguards as long as the change has not been modified.

Example: Changing the ink cartridge in a printer

Normal Changes

A normal change must go through the entire change process; it must be scheduled, risk assessed, and authorized. Minor (low to medium effect and urgency) and major changes are normal (high impact and urgency). In addition, all non-standard or emergency adjustments must be dealt with normally.

Example: Moving on-site services to the cloud

Emergency Changes

Emergency changes have a high impact and urgency, necessitating rapid assessment, approval, and implementation to regain services back up and running as rapidly as possible. Changes to components that impact business operations and cause downtime are classified as emergencies.

Examples: Primary server failure, data center interruption, and security vulnerability emergency patches.

ITIL Change Management Process

This section goes over the various ITIL change management procedures. Once you’ve grasped the concept, you can move forward without pausing to consider what comes next.

Creating a Change Request

When you make a change request, it is your job to write down details that will help others understand what needs to change and why you are making the request. If the initiator already has this information, the initial change request submission often includes details about the risk and implementation steps. This information, however, is not necessary at this time. A change request may contain the following information:

  • Incidents necessitating the change
  • Describe the change
  • The effects of the change on all associated systems
  • A risk analysis
  • Everyone involved in the change’s contact information
  • An outline of who must approve the request
  • If the change fails, a backup plan is necessary

Examining and Evaluating a Request for Change

If you are in charge of reviewing a change request, you must evaluate it based on its practicality and priority. Therefore, it is your duty to assess whether the request is reasonable and to provide feedback on the request. Requests that relate to problems that have already been addressed or are impractical to implement will be ignored.

The originator of the request, the impact of making the change on the organization, the projected return on any investment made about the request, and the resources necessary to accomplish the request will all be taken into account when evaluating practical requests. You will also determine who will be responsible for fulfilling the request and the ability of the implementers to devote time to making the change.

Planning the Change

Once you ask for a change, you must plan for it as if it will happen. A change plan outlines the path the change will take, the resources required to complete the change and an implementation timeline.

Change Evaluation

If the change includes software debugging or other system modifications, it may be necessary to test the change before its approval. If the change request is approved, a small-scale test will be performed to demonstrate the procedure. Testing the change also allows you to work out any issues that may have arisen in your advanced procedures.

Developing a Change Proposal

A change proposal outlines the type of change, the priority given to a change request, and the potential repercussions of not implementing the change. You must explain why the change is necessary for your suggestion to the person with the power to make it. For example, a change with a high priority level may cause outages that affect customers and result in revenue losses. In addition, the people who make changes must be aware of the consequences of doing nothing.

Implementing Changes

Implementing a change is not an easy task. First, you have to plan for the change. Implementation is only one step in the process of managing change. After making the change, tests must be done to see if the results were what was a wish for. If the change doesn’t work, remediation strategies could be used to figure out what went wrong and put in place a backup plan to deal with the problems that led to the request for the change.

Examining Change Performance

The post-implementation review is a critical component of the change management process. As an IT professional, you want to know if your change procedures are working properly. This involves reviewing records to determine whether the change was successful or unsuccessful, as well as recording details about the time and cost of the change to determine the accuracy of estimates made before fulfilling a request. Furthermore, reviewing change performance allows you to fine-tune your change management process for better future results.

Process Completion

Once the change process is complete, ensure that it has been documented in a database that all stakeholders can access. The process is completed once this documentation is completed.

Advantages of Change Management

Following are the advantages of change management:

To the Organization: 

  • Fewer change collisions as a result of effective change management
  • The ability to implement upgrades without disrupting operations
  • There are fewer failed changes
  • Changes are classified correctly

To the End User:

  • Improved communication about scheduled downtime and service unavailability
  • Service operations run more smoothly, with fewer disruptions caused by poorly planned changes


In conclusion, we hope you found our guide useful. Hopefully, you now understand what change management is and how to use it in your organization. ITIL certifications demonstrate that you have been educated in best service management practices, utilizing processes, terminology, and methods common in modern IT. As a result, ITIL-certified professionals are in high demand; they possess the skills to grow and transform the business. So, Invensis Learning offers IT Service Management Training Courses, including:

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Jacob Gillingham is an Incident Manager with 10+ years of experience in the ITSM domain. He possesses varied experience in managing large IT projects globally. With his expertise in the IT service management domain, currently, he is helping an SMB in their transition from ITIL v3 to ITIL 4. Jacob is a voracious reader and an excellent writer, where he covers topics that revolve around ITIL, VeriSM, SIAM, and other vital frameworks in IT Service Management. His blogs will help you to gain knowledge and enhance your career growth in the IT service management industry.


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