Change Management Best Practices | CompTIA A+ 220-1002 | 4.2

In this video you will learn about the basics of change management and some best practices associated with change management.

Change Management

Change management is an IT service management discipline. The objective of change management in this context is to ensure that standardized methods and procedures are used for efficient and prompt handling of all changes to control IT infrastructure, in order to minimize the number and impact of any related incidents upon service. Change management can ensure standardized methods, processes and procedures which are used for all changes, facilitate efficient and prompt handling of all changes, and maintain the proper balance between the need for change and the potential detrimental impact of changes.

Documented Business Processes & Practices

Creating a record of who uses the network, what part of the network, & how others use the network is the first thing to consider before going about implementing change management. Due to the nature of IT infrastructures which create a lot of overlap in network usage, it cannot be assumed that everyone can do without service to the network in the event that network has be shut down for whatever reason. Knowing how a company performs its many tasks can help create a map for how change should be implemented.

Purpose of the Change

It is important to identify the purpose for any change to the network. This will help limit the scope of change & prevent it from unnecessarily larger than it should. Also, it is important to allow users of the network to be a part of the process of identifying issues with the network so that they can help identify potential problems to help make any changes successful.

Scope the Change

Scope of change refers to the overall extent of a change. The scope must be defined so that users of the network are not suddenly unable to access the network once a change has been implemented. Part of scoping a change means creating an itemized list of things that will stay the same (core functions), go away (old equipment), or have a mixed outcome after a change has been implemented.

Risk Analysis

A risk analysis is a technique used to identify and access factors that may jeopardize the success of a project or achieving a goal. Some risks that IT managers are faced with include delays, poor network quality, and the usage of more resources. IT managers are expected to neutralize these risks once they have been identified by grouping them into high, medium, or low risk categories according to their potential impact on an organization.

Plan for Change

It is important that all users of a network be aware of changes that will come and understand, based on detailed analysis, how those changes will impact their functions. Even small changes to a network need to have a well-planned implementation.

End-User Acceptance

End users of a network will be the ones to ultimately dictate the success or failure of a change migration, therefore it is important to ensure that end users are informed & involved in the planning & implementation of the change process. One way to get end users involved would be conduct some type of training for how to use the new software or equipment.

Change Board

A change advisory board (CAB) delivers support to a change management team by advising on requested changes and assisting in the assessment and prioritization of changes. This body is generally made up of IT and business representatives that include a change manager, user managers and groups, technical experts, and possible third parties and customers (if required). The task of the change board is to analyze requests for change (RFCs) and study the benefits and risks of implementing changes.

Backout Plan

A backout plan is an IT governance integration approach that specifies the processes required to restore a system to its original or earlier state, in the event of failed or aborted implementation. A backout plan adheres to an action list created prior to software or system integration. This list includes detailed steps and techniques for uninstalling or deintegrating a new system, as well reversing process changes in order to get things back to normal.

Document Changes

Documenting changes is paramount in any type of change management process so that a record of what was changed and how it was accomplished can be readily available for anyone who wants to make further changes to the network.