Change Enablement in ITIL 4 (2023)

Service Management Blog

Change Enablement in ITIL 4 (1)

Change Enablement in ITIL 4 (2)

Change Enablement in ITIL 4 (3)

January 31, 2020

4 minute read

Joseph Mathenge, Jon Stevens-Hall

Change enablement is a very critical service management practice within ITIL. It is here that we can introduce improvements in services as well as other service management practices.

A change is defined as the addition, modification, or removal of anything that could have a direct or indirect effect on services.

This would typically include changes to IT infrastructure, applications, documentation, processes, supplier relationships, and any other critical components of the service. Although some IT organizations limit their focus only to hardware and software change enablement, it is important to remember that other elements play significant roles in service development and delivery, and changes to them can negatively impact customers.

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(Video) How Change Enablement in ITIL 4 differs from Change Mgmt in ITIL v3

(This article is part of our ITIL 4 Guide. Use the right-hand menu to navigate.)

What is change enablement?

The purpose of the change enablement practice is to maximize the number of successful IT changes by ensuring that risks have been properly assessed, authorizing changes to proceed, and managing the change schedule.

(Note: in previous ITIL versions, this practice was known as both “change management” and “change control”. This terminology shift in ITIL 4 underscores the newest version’s embrace of flexible, less rigid environments.)

The distinction between change enablement and organizational change management is important. While organizational change management manages the people aspects of changes to ensure that improvements and organizational transformation initiatives are implemented successfully, change enablement usually focuses on changes in products and services.

Change types

In ITIL, we usually identify three types of change that are each managed in different ways i.e. standard, normal and emergency changes.

(Video) ITIL® 4 Introduces 'Change Enablement' Practice | A Critical Update from ITProTV

Standard change
  • A low-risk, pre-authorized change that is well understood and fully documented, and can be implemented without needing additional authorization.
  • Is often initiated as a service request, but may also be an operational change.
  • Requires a full risk assessment and authorization only during creation, or modification due to business change or occurrence of an incident.
Normal change
  • A change that needs to be scheduled, assessed, and authorized following a standard process.
  • Involves change models based on the type of change determine the roles for assessment and authorization i.e. low level changes require local (team or supervisor) authorization while high level changes may require board level authorization.
  • Initiation is triggered by the creation of a manual or automated change request.
Emergency change
  • A change that must be implemented as soon as possible without strictly following the standard process e.g. to resolve an incident or implement a security patch.
  • The process for assessment and authorization is expedited to ensure quick implementation, so scheduling and documentation is not a priority.
  • The change authority may be separate from what is standard or normal practice, typically smaller in number but with greater capacity to expedite approval.

Change authority

The change authority is defined as a person or group who authorizes a change. This can be a team, supervisor, manager, CEO, board, customer or regulator depending on the nature of the change as well as the organizational approach and culture. It is essential that the correct change authority is assigned to each type of change to ensure that change enablement is both efficient and effective. There is no point constituting a board to review every relatively low risk change that can be locally approved.

In high-velocity organizations, it is a common practice to decentralize change approval, making peer review a top predictor of high performance. For example, an agile product team would make decisions on which elements of the product backlog will be tackled in a sprint, while the agile product manager would make decisions on which customer requirements would be included into the product backlog. Organizations adopting DevOps practices might establish systemic approval based on the success of automated checks in the continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipeline.

Change communication

Regardless of who the change authority is, they may need to communicate widely across the organization as well as to key stakeholders. It is important to prepare all persons involved and all persons affected in advance to prevent surprises. Good communication with the Service Desk, for example, may be important to ensure that high call volumes do not come as an unmanageable surprise following a change that went wrong. Marketing teams might wish to avoid planned campaign activity at a time when key systems are expected to be unavailable. Good communication is also particularly important where a large cross-section of persons with specialist knowledge are needed, for example when assessing the risk of a complex change.

The change schedule is used to help plan changes, assist in communication, avoid conflicts, and assign resources. It can also be used after changes have been deployed to provide information needed for incident management, problem management, and improvement planning. It is important to expose the change schedule to all key stakeholders involved in the changes, through communication channels which are likely to get the message to them in a timely manner.

Contribution of change enablement to the Service Value Chain

The change enablement practice is involved in all the activities of the service value chain as shown below:

Plan Changes to product and service portfolios, policies, and practices all require a certain level of control, and the change enablement practice is used to provide it.
Engage Customers and users may need to be consulted or informed about changes, depending on the nature of the change.
Design and Transition Many changes are initiated as a result of new or changed services. Change enablement activity is a major contributor to transition.
Obtain/Build Changes to components are subject to change enablement, whether they are built in house or obtained from suppliers.
Deliver and Support Changes may have an impact on delivery and support, and information about changes must be communicated to personnel who carry out this value chain activity. These people may also play a part in assessing and authorizing changes.
Improve Many improvements will require changes to be made, and these should be assessed and authorized in the same way as all other changes.

Change Enablement in ITIL 4 (5)

ITIL® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited. IT Infrastructure Library® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited.

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About the author

Change Enablement in ITIL 4 (13)

Joseph Mathenge

Joseph is a global best practice trainer and consultant with over 14 years corporate experience. His passion is partnering with organizations around the world through training, development, adaptation, streamlining and benchmarking their strategic and operational policies and processes in line with best practice frameworks and international standards. His specialties are IT Service Management, Business Process Reengineering, Cyber Resilience and Project Management.

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About the author

Change Enablement in ITIL 4 (14)

Jon Stevens-Hall

Jon Stevens-Hall is a Principal Product Manager for BMC Helix ITSM. He was a contributing author on several of the ITIL 4 Managing Professional books (“Create Deliver and Support”, and “High Velocity IT”). His work focuses on innovative new tooling for Service Management, and the evolution of ITSM in the DevOps era.

(Video) ITIL 4 FND: Change Enablement

FAQs

What is change enablement in ITIL 4? ›

According to ITIL, change enablement is the modification of the company's IT infrastructure that can lead to a direct or indirect effect on its operations without increasing the associated risk. The modification can be an addition, subtraction, or a switch in the strategy to improve the results.

What is the purpose of the change enablement practice ITIL? ›

What is change enablement? The purpose of the change enablement practice is to maximize the number of successful IT changes by ensuring that risks have been properly assessed, authorizing changes to proceed, and managing the change schedule.

Which of these statements about the change enablement practice is correct? ›

Which statement about the "change enablement" practice is CORRECT...
  • A. Service requests are usually normal changes that can be implemented quickly without authorization.
  • B. Emergency changes are changes that must be fully tested and fully documented prior to implementation.
  • C. ...
  • D. ...
  • Correct Answer: D.
Jul 23, 2021

How can change enablement contribute to the plan stage of the service value chain ITIL? ›

ITIL v4 defines the change enablement practice as maximizing the number of successful service and product changes in three areas: Ensuring that risks have been properly assessed. Authorizing changes to proceed. Managing the change schedule.

What does change enablement mean? ›

Change enablement, called change management, refers to providing people with the necessary information and support–alongside tools, processes, and strategies– to help them adapt and transition to change within an organization.

What are change enablers? ›

Change Enablers

Create conversations that generate problem-solving activity. Look for internal activist who want to be involved and have. the courage to challenge the status quo. Invite and encourage commitment by asking people to get.

What are the three types of change request? ›

Ackerman (1997) has distinguished between three types of change:
  • Developmental – May be either planned or emergent; it is first order, or incremental. ...
  • Transitional – Seeks to achieve a known desired state that is different from the existing one. ...
  • Transformational – Is radical or second order in nature.
May 17, 2006

What are the 3 main types of change ITIL? ›

4 ITIL Change Types You Must Know
  • Major Change – A major change is associated with high risk and impact. ...
  • Minor Change – Non-trivial changes that rate low on risk and impact are called minor changes. ...
  • Standard Change – These changes, like minor changes, are low on risk and impact.
Apr 23, 2021

What are the 3 main objectives of change control? ›

The primary objectives of change management are to: • manage each change request from initiation through to closure; • process change requests based upon direction from the appropriate authority; • communicate the impact of changes to appropriate personnel; and • allow small changes to be managed with a minimum of ...

How do you implement change in practice? ›

Implementing Change
  1. Communicate. Frequent and effective communication is especially important during change, because so much is going on. ...
  2. Foster a Team Culture. ...
  3. Identify and Empower Champions. ...
  4. Provide Feedback and Positive Reinforcement.
Jul 20, 2010

What is the purpose of change control practice? ›

Change control is a systematic approach to managing all changes made to a product or system. The purpose is to ensure that no unnecessary changes are made, all changes are documented, services are not unnecessarily disrupted and resources are used efficiently.

Which two needs should change control balance? ›

Change control is usually focused on changes in products and services. Change control must balance the need to make beneficial changes that will deliver additional value with the need to protect customers and users from the adverse effect of changes.

What are the 4 P's of change management? ›

How do you introduce change management to the stakeholders of a project you're supporting? Leveraging the 4P's—project, purpose, particulars and people—is a great way to help any audience see the connection between change management and achieving results.

What are the 3 stages in the change process? ›

These three distinct stages of change (unfreeze, change, and refreeze) allow you to plan & implement the required change. A well-thought combination of change models and change management tools can go a long way in steering your employees through the change.

How can we improve ITIL change management process? ›

ITIL change management objectives
  1. Give organizations the power to take control and manage their changes: Change management will give you better control over your change process and help you implement changes with minimal risk. ...
  2. Help organizations implement changes better: ...
  3. Enable continuous improvement:
Jun 19, 2020

What is an example of enablement? ›

Some examples of providing care with a focus on an enabling approach include: A personalised, targeted exercise plan. Easy living equipment (eg a shower chair, cutlery with large grips, pick-up stick, signs, screen readers, etc) Volunteer programs.

What is an enablement solution? ›

In the modern digital setting, B2B sales enablement solutions are often buyer-focused, with an underlying goal of helping sellers target the right buyers and engage them effectively throughout the customer journey. It's about removing any barriers that might inhibit smooth interactions and a seamless buying process.

What are the 7 types of enablers? ›

COBIT 5's 7 enablers are:
  • Principles, Policies and Frameworks.
  • Processes.
  • Organizational Structures.
  • Culture, Ethics and Behavior.
  • Information.
  • Services, Infrastructure and Applications.
  • People, Skills and Competencies.
Apr 20, 2015

What are the four enablers? ›

Engage for Success state that the 4 enablers of engagement are Strategic Narrative, Engaging Managers, Employee Voice, and Integrity.

How do you identify an enabler? ›

Signs or characteristics of an enabler
  1. Ignoring or tolerating problematic behavior. ...
  2. Providing financial assistance. ...
  3. Covering for them or making excuses. ...
  4. Taking on more than your share of responsibilities. ...
  5. Avoiding the issue. ...
  6. Brushing things off. ...
  7. Denying the problem. ...
  8. Sacrificing or struggling to recognize your own needs.
Jun 27, 2019

What are the three types of change request? ›

Ackerman (1997) has distinguished between three types of change:
  • Developmental – May be either planned or emergent; it is first order, or incremental. ...
  • Transitional – Seeks to achieve a known desired state that is different from the existing one. ...
  • Transformational – Is radical or second order in nature.
May 17, 2006

What are the 4 categories of change? ›

There are distinct types of change, and the style of change management needed differs between them.
...
The Four Kinds of Change
  • Mission Changes. ...
  • Strategic Changes. ...
  • Operational Changes. ...
  • Technological Changes.
Aug 6, 2020

What are the 3 stages in the change process? ›

These three distinct stages of change (unfreeze, change, and refreeze) allow you to plan & implement the required change. A well-thought combination of change models and change management tools can go a long way in steering your employees through the change.

What are the 4 typical stages of change? ›

When change is first introduced at work, the people affected will typically go through four stages. These can be visualised on the change curve. The stages are shock, anger, acceptance and commitment.

What are the 3 C's of change? ›

In many ways managing resistance to change is a mixture of the 3 C's: Challenge; Choice and Commitment.

What are the 3 main types of change ITIL? ›

4 ITIL Change Types You Must Know
  • Major Change – A major change is associated with high risk and impact. ...
  • Minor Change – Non-trivial changes that rate low on risk and impact are called minor changes. ...
  • Standard Change – These changes, like minor changes, are low on risk and impact.
Apr 23, 2021

What are the four C's of change? ›

The first rule of change management is to plan for managing the people issues involved in the change, long before change is implemented. Once this is understood, there are four key components to a successful change management program: communication, commitment, community, and clarity.

What are the 7 stages of change? ›

More on the Stages of Change
  • Precontemplation: Not ready. Not now. ...
  • Contemplation: Maybe soon — thinking about it. ...
  • Preparation: Ready, taking small steps. ...
  • Action: Doing the healthy behavior. ...
  • Maintenance: Keeping on. ...
  • Termination: Change fully integrated.
Jun 6, 2019

What are the 5 phases of change? ›

The five stages of change are precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. Precontemplation is the stage at which there is no intention to change behavior in the foreseeable future.

What are the 5 key elements of successful change management? ›

5 Steps in the Change Management Process
  • Prepare the Organization for Change. ...
  • Craft a Vision and Plan for Change. ...
  • Implement the Changes. ...
  • Embed Changes Within Company Culture and Practices. ...
  • Review Progress and Analyze Results.
Mar 19, 2020

What is the most difficult stage in the change process? ›

Action is the most difficult phase of change management simply because you're going from stop to start. Any time we make a change, whether it's an organizational change, a new personal habit or even a physical change like going from standing still to sprinting, the first few action steps take the most effort.

What are the 4 P's of change management? ›

How do you introduce change management to the stakeholders of a project you're supporting? Leveraging the 4P's—project, purpose, particulars and people—is a great way to help any audience see the connection between change management and achieving results.

What are the four main change tools and techniques? ›

Successful change management relies on four core principles:
  • Understand Change.
  • Plan Change.
  • Implement Change.
  • Communicate Change.

What are the key stages in effective change? ›

Consider the following when crafting your change management plan: Map any business and technology changes. Configure and align with new processes and technology changes. Assign approvals and sign-offs while testing (and testing again!)

Videos

1. Change Control in ITIL4: So Much More Than a New Name - Greg Sanker
(ITSM Academy)
2. Wie sich Change Enablement in ITIL 4 von Change Mgmt in ITIL v3 unterscheidet
(SERVIEW GmbH)
3. Change Management Process (5 Steps Explained) - ITIL & PMP Training
(ITProTV)
4. Change Management vs Change Enablement | Operations Podcast Clip
(Drift)
5. ITIL 4 Service Mgmt practices - Change control
(Mark James)
6. Session 101: ITIL Change Enablement and DevOps
(Mitchell Pautz)
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