Types of change

Changes to IT services arise for a variety of reasons including as a means of resolving errors and improving or extending services. Change management provides a consistent and effective process to enable a successful implementation of change whilst minimising risks, impacts, and disruption to delivered services. The objective of change management is to enable a re-alignment of services in response to changing business requirements.

Standard changes

The majority of requests will be defined and processed as a standard change. These changes are repetitive in request (e.g. configuring a network switch) with a proven solution; these will be low risk, pre-authorised, and swift to execute. It is expected that the request is logged, executed and closed quickly.

Normal changes

Normal changes would have a full assessment of impact on the business and services made, full risk assessment, an evaluation of change performed and, where required, presented to the Change Advisory Board (CAB). These activities may require financial justification in the form or a Business Case to be authorised by the appropriate areas of the business, and may result in additional requests for change to a service. The CAB, where involved, will authorise the normal request, enabling the testing, scheduling and implementation activities.

Emergency changes

In contrast, emergency changes may be required to provide a quick turnaround for priority reasons, though there should be relatively few requests of this critical level. This type of change is reserved for repairing service errors creating negative business impacts. The process includes an authorisation activity to be performed by the Emergency Change Advisory Board (ECAB) or delegate which will result in the test, release, and deployment of the change by the assigned resources and expertise.