In my last blog post I discussed three of the most important parts of the “ITIL Service Design” book. In this post I will give the same treatment to the “ITIL Service Transition” book.
The “ITIL Service Transition” book uses quite a bit of space to cover the importance of various policies to transition activities. Policies are boundaries. Effective service providers set and manage sensible boundaries. Some of the more critical policies include:
- All changes should be implemented through service transition — changes happening outside of transition aren’t being effectively managed in terms of risk or relationship to other changes, and are therefore dangerous to an organization’s desired business outcomes
- Provide methods for knowledge transfer — often one of the missing elements of an otherwise effective change management process is the ability of the service provider to effectively deploy knowledge to users, customers and support staff during implementation activities
- Ensure early involvement in the lifecycle — In many organizations transition gets involved at the point of implementation. The best practice encourages service providers to be involved in transition activities as early as possible in the lifecycle, so that more time is available to properly understand the risk associated with the transition activity
The Change Management Process
Ask 10 service management professionals what the most important process described by ITIL is and you’re likely to get 10 different answers. No answer is right or wrong; rather it’s based on that individual’s background. Given my background, I tend to look at change management as the most important process that ITIL describes.
A good change process functions as a communication mechanism that binds different departments and processes together through a shared, centralized method of understanding and making good decisions about risk. When I talk about change management in foundation and other classes, I tend to describe change management as like the economy of an organization, with changes themselves representing the currency of the system. Change management is what makes things happen in a service management setting.
Cascading Levels of Change Authorization
Many organizations attempt to use a single body, such as a Change Advisory Board, to review, assess and coordinate all of the change facing the organization. I’ve always felt that this is a bit of a misunderstanding of the best practice. Additionally, this tends to limit the organization’s ability to effectively and efficiently handle a high volume of change.
ITIL recommends a cascading model of change approval based on risk. In my experience with change management, this is exactly the approach that I’ve seen work very well in large organizations that deal regularly with a high volume of change.
There are many things that are useful and important about the “ITIL Service Transition” book. This post discussed policies, the change management process and cascading levels of change authorization, which are three of the most important concept discussed in the “ITIL Service Transition” book.