ITIL Change Management and Its Process - Freshservice | Freshworks (2022)


ITIL Change Management

IT and technology innovation leads to new changes within the organization. To remain competitive, it is crucial for businesses to adapt faster to the changing trends. However, it is important to not interrupt the current working state while implementing these changes. ITIL Change management helps businesses to deploy new changes without any disruption or downtime. ITIL change management follows a standard operating procedure to eliminate any unintended interruptions and includes change assessment, planning and approval.

Change management process is a gatekeeper which ensures minimum risk and impact to the ongoing Infrastructure & Operations. Change management includes pre-release activities such as roll out, back out planning and scheduling of changes. It performs quality control checks to ensure change and release activities are as per planned.


The primary objective of ITIL Change management is to mitigate risk and impact. Change management does the authorization to approve any change to be deployed. It protects the production environment while executing a new change. Following are the objectives of ITIL Change management process.

  • Reduction of risk and impact

  • Maintenance of current working state

    (Video) ITIL Change Management - Plan and deploy changes with confidence | #1 rated ITSM solution

  • Communication and approval management

  • Effective change planning with optimized resources

  • Reduction in number of incidents due to change execution

Scenarios where ITIL Change Management is used:
  • Implementing a new data center

  • Deploying a bug fix to production environment

  • Windows patch

  • Replacing ERP service provider

  • OS upgrade

Change Management Process Flow

ITIL Change management process includes different steps that capture every detail about a change request for future tracking. These processes ensure that the change is validated and tested before it moves to deployment. Release management process is responsible for successful deployment. Change Manager handles planning & evaluation whereas Release Manager takes care of the actual implementation of the change. The change management process flow looks something like this:

ITIL Change Management and Its Process - Freshservice | Freshworks (1) ITIL Change Management and Its Process - Freshservice | Freshworks (2)

Request for Change

Request For Change (RFC) is submitted to the change management team for validation and approval. Change requests occur from one of the following sources.

  • An Incident that causes a change

  • An Existing problem that results in a change

  • An and user requesting for a new change

  • Change as a result of an ongoing maintenance

An RFC template is used to record the change
  • Reason for change- Justifies why change is needed along with risk/benefit analysis.

  • Impact & Risk assessment- Potential Impact and risk are calculated and documented including configuration items, CIs.

  • Cost benefit analysis- Estimated cost versus potential benefits are compared.

  • Implementation planning- Steps for implementing change that includes project members, timelines and methodology.

Change Assessment and Planning

This stage handles change evaluation and planning activities. It includes prioritization and planning activities to minimize risk and impact.

  • Prioritization- Determine the type of change and prioritize the requests accordingly.

  • Scheduling- Check the Release schedule to get an estimated time frame and fix the planned start date and end date

  • Roll out plan- Plan out the implementation activities

  • Back out plan- Back out plan in case of unexpected setbacks

Change approvals

Any change request that comes in, needs to be approved. The Change management team handles end to end communication and approvals from Change Advisory Board (CAB). Change approval is crucial to eliminate any execution failure and downtime. Approval process varies according to the change type. For example, a major change like ERP solution replacement requires approval from CAB as well as management whereas a standard change like patch deployment does not require any CAB approval as they are pre-approved. Change request is approved only if all the CAB members approve it. Upon rejection, reassessment review is done and submitted again for CAB approval.

(Video) Change Management in Freshservice

Change implementation

Change implementation is handled by Release management team and Post Implementation Review (PIR) is taken care of, by the Change management team. Release management team follows their own processes that involve planning and testing. Change review happens once the implementation is completed to ensure everything has gone according to the plan The existing change management process is constantly reviewed and updated wherever necessary.

(Video) ITIL Change Management vs Release Management | Freshservice brings integrity, ensures minimum risk

Integration with other ITIL modules

Change management is closely associated with ITIL modules such as incident management, problem management, release management and CMDB to share updates. This association is essential to maintain information consistency.

Change Management & CMDB

Change management might involve changes to Configuration Items (CIs) that are part of Configuration Management Database,CMDB. CMDB manages relationships across devices and Change management process understands this relationship and impact before rolling out any new deployment. If a particular asset has multiple dependencies or relationships with other assets, then the impact is high. Associate the right CIs, that might be impacted due to the change or caused the change to occur and update this information within the CMDB.

Change & Release Management

The main objective of Change management process is to ensure that the planned change is under control and release management takes care of the actual implementation of planned changes. It is crucial to differentiate the roles & responsibilities of change and release management to avoid any conflict. Successful change leads to new release and change management coordinates with release for build, test and implementation plan.

GateKeeper - protects the production environment while assessing the release plan Doer - Builds, tests and deploys changes as a whole or in batch
Pre and post deployment activities Deployment activities
Change schedule/ Forward Schedule change, FSC Long-term release windows
Not all changes result in a release All releases involve one or many changes
Quality control point Packaging of approved changes
Authorization process Implementation process
Strategic level Operational level
Post Implementation review, PIR Version control
Change & Incident management

Incidents are directly linked to a change when there is a need to roll out new implementations. For example, The IT team identifies that the recurring WiFi issues are due to a faulty router. In this case, the team replaces the old router with a new one through ITIL Change management process. If the root cause is unknown, then incident is linked to a problem to perform Root Cause Analysis (RCA). The goal of incident management is to restore services as soon as possible and change management finds out a permanent solution. End users report an Incident which may be converted to a change record, handled by change management team.

(Video) Change Management Process (5 Steps Explained) - ITIL & PMP Training

Implementation Checklist

Change management is closely associated with ITIL modules such as incident management, problem management, release management and CMDB to share updates. This association is essential to maintain information consistency.

  • Define change process and share it with internal teams
  • Define change workflows to automate change processes
  • Include members from Release team in CAB approval
  • Communicate clear roles and responsibilities to every CAB member
  • Use change templates to pre-fill standard changes thus saving time
  • Define success factors and KPIs for Change Management. i.e. change executed successfully vs failed changes
  • Continuous review is crucial to improve change management process outcome

Change management, as a process is crucial for businesses to have a quality check and deploy new changes seamlessly. While changes are inevitable, it is important to streamline this process with a predefined process. Effective change management results in risk reduction, cost optimization and faster time to market.

Other Resources

EBOOKArtificial Intelligence in ITSM WHITEPAPERExpectations are good WHITEPAPERThe No-nonsense Guide to ITSM BLOGThe Paradigm Shift in ITSM EBOOKITIL Change Management - A Beginner's Guide WHITEPAPERGamifying Your Service Desk - Barclay Rae WHITEPAPERImprove the efficiency of your IT team by implementing Lean in ITSM WHITEPAPERITSM for Higher Education EBOOKSelf Service for ITSM 101 BLOGMoving from reactive ITSM to proactive ITSM BLOGWhat Problem Does ITIL Actually Solve For Companies

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(Video) Freshservice Change Lifecycle


What is the ITIL change management process? ›

ITIL change management is a process designed to understand and minimize risks while making IT changes. Businesses have two main expectations of the services provided by IT: The services should be stable, reliable, and predictable. The services should be able to change rapidly to meet evolving business requirements.

What is a change in Freshservice? ›

Freshservice provides a change management module that allows you to effectively streamline your change activities. The module also enables you to associate incidents and problems with a change request and co-ordinate CAB approvals. Freshservice. 4.82K subscribers.

What are the 3 main types of change ITIL? ›

In ITIL, we usually identify three types of change that are each managed in different ways i.e. standard, normal and emergency changes. A low-risk, pre-authorized change that is well understood and fully documented, and can be implemented without needing additional authorization.

What is ITIL process? ›

ITIL is a framework for effectively managing IT services throughout the entire service lifecycle. The ITIL framework offers guidance and best practices for managing the five stages of the IT service lifecycle: service strategy, service design, service transition, service operation and continual service improvement.

How do I exit change in Freshservice? ›

A change can be closed by either of these two methods: Click on More in the top-right corner of the change's detailed view and click Close. Click on the Status drop-down and select Closed.

What is a problem in Freshservice? ›

A problem is the cause of one or more incidents. Once a problem has been documented, all the relevant details need to be added for the root cause analysis to be effective. Then a workaround or a permanent solution needs to be determined to solve the problem. This section talks about Problem Management in Freshservice.

How do I create a Freshservice project? ›

To set it up,

In the projects module, click on Project Template. Now click on New template. Enter a name and description for your project and choose if it's a software or a business project. You can also choose the visibility for this template.

What is the most important in change management process? ›

Effective communication is one of the most important success factors for effective change management. All involved individuals must understand the progress through the various stages and see results as the change cascades.

What is process of change? ›

The ten processes of change are consciousness raising, counterconditioning, dramatic relief,environmental reevaluation, helping relationships, reinforcement management, self-liberation,self-reevaluation, social-liberation, and stimulus control.

What is change management in ITIL with example? ›

ITIL Change management is a part of service transition stage that recommends a process flow to evaluate, plan and deploy a specific change request. The primary objective of ITIL Change management is to ensure that change execution does not interrupt ongoing operations.

What is a standard change ITIL? ›

ITIL change management defines Standard Change as: “A pre-authorized change that is low risk, relatively common and follows a procedure or work instruction”.

What are the types of change management? ›

Within directed change there are three different types of change management: developmental, transitional, and transformational.

› change-management-software ›

ITIL Change Management. ITIL is a framework for an effective IT Service Management (ITSM) that delivers real value to customers and business. ITIL consists of d...
ITIL describes change management as the process of tracking and managing a change throughout its entire life cycle, from start to closure, with the aim to minim...
Change Management is powerful and far-reaching, in that it supports every stage of the ITIL life cycle. It is important to recognize there are strategic, tactic...

What is change management in ITIL with example? ›

ITIL Change management is a part of service transition stage that recommends a process flow to evaluate, plan and deploy a specific change request. The primary objective of ITIL Change management is to ensure that change execution does not interrupt ongoing operations.

Why is ITIL change management important? ›

Benefits of effective ITIL Change Management include: Improved alignment of IT services to business requirements. Increased visibility and communication of Changes to both business and service-support staff. Improved risk assessment.

What is a standard change ITIL? ›

ITIL change management defines Standard Change as: “A pre-authorized change that is low risk, relatively common and follows a procedure or work instruction”.

What does change control primarily focus on ITIL? ›

What does change control PRIMARILY focus on? Changes to organizational structure Changes to products and services Changes to service levels Changes to skills and competencies.


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