Change Management – Managing Change

Within the disciplines of IT service management we tend to think we’re pretty adept at managing change – after all a big chunk of our responsibility is about making sure that the changes are implemented for the business reliably, safely and accurately and in a controlled and disciplined manner. However that’s Change Management in ITIL speak. I’m talking here about managing those changes that affect you and / or your teams.

I think it’s a hugely ironic that IT specialists at the forefront of implementing change for the business are, as a group, most resistant to change themselves. That makes it very difficult to develop a culture of continual service improvement and to implement a framework like ITIL®.

It is widely accepted that the top three barriers to service improvement are:
• Plan, Do, Stop
• Saying Yes and meaning No
• Lack of Commitment from senior management.
Planning and acting to overcome these three obstacles is a crucial element in any programme of change.

Resistance is good. Winning people over helps validate that Yes really means Yes and that the improvement programme will continue even when the initial focus is switched elsewhere.

Management commitment is more difficult but goes to what I said in an earlier blog about speaking truth to power. All too often I see projects effectively killed off because senior managers display an attitude characterised by “You have my full commitment – just so long as you don’t need my time, effort, budget or involvement”.

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