What is Change Management?

Change Management (CM) encompasses all activities, tasks, and measures intended to bring about sweeping, cross-departmental, and comprehensive changes in a company. These are typically designed to realize new structures, systems, strategies, behaviors, or processes. Thus, CM covers all aspects of implementing change processes. The main task of Change Management is to systematically, actively, methodically, and effectively intervene in adaptation processes. The individual steps of the change process should be strategically planned, monitored, and stabilized to successfully implement the change.

ITIL distinguishes between three types of changes:

Standard Changes

These are changes to a service or the IT infrastructure where the risk is low. These changes are processed following a predefined and tested procedure. A practical example is the replacement of a printer.

Emergency Changes

These are changes that need to be implemented as quickly as possible, for instance, to fix a security gap or a major incident.

Normal Changes

These include all changes that are neither Standard nor Emergency changes. These must go through a change process before they can be approved or installed. If the change is associated with high risk, a designated employee decides whether it can still be implemented.

How is the CM process designed?

The main objective of CM is to strategically assess, approve, implement, and evaluate all changes in the IT infrastructure. You can achieve this goal by following these steps:

  1. Formal application for changes
  2. Assessment of changes
  3. Approval of changes
  4. Creation of a detailed concept plan for changes
  5. Evaluation and revision of the plan
  6. Planning the execution of changes and scheduling
  7. Checking and testing the changes
  8. Evaluation, analysis, and reporting of the results of the tests

What is the difference between a Change, an Incident, and a Problem?

While a Change is an action taken to improve your company's IT infrastructure and minimize outages, an Incident is a single event which occurs when a service in your company isn't working as planned. A Problem, on the other hand, refers to recurring failures or incidents.

Advantages of Change Management:

Minimization of outages

CM makes change processes more efficient and straightforward, thereby reducing risk for outages and possible problems. The strategically thought-out process used in CM protects against unnecessary errors. Should a problem still occur, the individual steps of the process can be traced easily, and the source of the problem can be quickly identified.

Acceleration of the implementation of changes

CM provides a well-structured process that speeds up the implementation of changes.


The progress of the change process can be tracked and monitored in detail.

Improvement of transparency and communication

CM can also make your processes more transparent, thereby improving communication with other involved employees.

Cost estimation

CM also enables a better estimation of costs for planned changed and allows for corrections and adjustments if necessary.

Latest Posts