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The Value of Change Models

When the Greek philosopher Heraclitus said that “Change is the only constant..,” he probably wasn’t referring to IT service management, yet that is exactly what those who manage technology do every day. As explained by Professor P. Ross S. Wise in an ITSM Professor segment, for IT professionals, the value of embracing that change cannot be understated. Ross explains:

The purpose of the change management process is to control the lifecycle of all changes, allowing us to make beneficial changes with minimal disruption to our current IT services.  The objective is to be able to respond to these changing requirements while safeguarding value and reducing rework.

Ross goes on to cite additional pressures, such as ensuring that changes to IT structures are in alignment with business goals, in addition to recording changes and assessing risk. This is where one of a set of three change models may come into play, depending on whether the change scenario is Normal, Standard, or Emergency.

Yet regardless of which change model an organization chooses to utilize, all approaches tend to focus on step-by-step processes to handling unpredictable events or outcomes. As is often the case, unmanageable situations are best quelled by slicing them into more digestible pieces to be analyzed.

Next, the steps that facilitate a change must be ordered in such a way that each makes sense in the context of a dynamic process where co-processes and dependencies are represented in their full complexity. Nothing is worse than getting individual tasks right while missing the big picture.  

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, those who are agents of change management must be held accountable to their roles and responsibilities at each step, while being mindful of timescales and thresholds for their activities. When counting the significant aspects that go into managing a project, it may be easy to forget our own and others' central position within the project. To some degree, we must all manage ourselves and each other.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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