Change Management Challenges
ITIL recognizes that change management won't be universally accepted or successful, at least not at first.
Auditing plays a role in keeping things on track, but understanding
change management can fail as a
process can help you prevent problems. Common reasons include:
· Record keeping--Paper-based record keeping systems are doomed to failure in all but the smallest
IT shops. In the previous chapter, I introduced you to several categories of tools that can aid in
electronic record keeping and process automation; use them.
· Culture--Organizations that have maintained a more casual attitude regarding IT might face
considerable personal and cultural challenges: Administrators might feel that the process is designed
to micromanage them, for example. Education is the key to overcoming this obstacle. Be prepared to
show how unmanaged change has resulted in unnecessary downtime, repeated work, on-the-job
stress, and more.
· External-process change--Change made outside the change-management process not only carries
the risk associated with all unmanaged change but also impacts managed changes that are
proceeding without knowledge of the unmanaged changes. Fortunately, automated network
configuration management tools can be configured to automatically detect most unmanaged change,
alerting you to it and allowing you to take appropriate corrective action.
Be sure you plan for these and any other challenges in your environment. Solicit feedback from users,
managers, and administrators to find out where your obstacles will be, and start preparing to work
ITIL Configuration Management
In the ITIL world, configuration management is somewhat more analogous to asset
management. Its goal is to control CIs (such as network devices), continuously confirm their
status, and audit them to ensure that they remain configured properly. There are actually four
primary steps to the ITIL configuration management process:
Because ITIL configuration management is really a form of asset management, I'm going to
cover it only briefly. The ITIL change-management process really focuses on the internal
software configuration of network devices and is the most appropriate model to use when
developing a process to manage those devices. Configuration management (ITIL-style) certainly
plays a role, but it's a much less complex process.