While enterprises are on a quest to upgrade their IT landscape with new technologies, it is important to also deploy a robust gatekeeper to authorize every change made to the IT system to ensure there are no disruptions to the work environment. ServiceNow ITSM Change Management uses the ITIL framework along with its unique tools to deliver a strong platform, that aims to eliminate service impacts, mitigate risk and reduce the cost for change implementations.

ServiceNow Change Management lifecycle

In an IT Service Management, ServiceNow Change Management emphasizes on designing workflows that streamline and centralize procedures for enacting a change. It tracks and manages the lifecycle of all changes. ServiceNow largely complies with the core aspects of ITIL for its change management process. Let us take a look at its change workflow:

  • New: A need for a change is identified and a change request is initiated
  • Assess: The created change is then extensively assessed by a person of authority who governs the change process and a decision is taken whether to accept or reject the requested change.
  • Authorize: Once the change is deemed as necessary, its impacts, benefits and risks are reviewed to avoid any unnecessary disruption of IT setup. It is evaluated by the leadership and all stakeholders, who will be impacted by the change and then it is given an approval. For high-priority changes, which might impact the overall business operations, the Change Advisory Board (CAB) is also consulted.
  • Schedule: The initiated change is scheduled for implementation in such a way that no work disruption occurs.
  • Implement: With the approvals and schedule in place, the necessary changes are implemented in the IT system.
  • Review: The implemented change is tested and verified to ensure it is working in the intended manner and if any component of the whole change ecosystem is broken.
  • Close: When a change is closed, all related and associated incidents/ problems are closed automatically.
  • Cancel: There is an additional option to cancel any change requests that are initiated. The reason for cancelling the change is added to the Work Notes field.

ServiceNow CSM Integration

In ServiceNow, ITSM Change Management works by differentiating the priority of change requests. There are three types of requests:

Standard: These changes are performed frequently and are low-risk. They are pre-approved and follow a standard defined procedure. They have completed the normal change flow multiple times without any issue and hence are considered as low-risk.

Normal: These type of change requests has a major impact on overall business operations and must be planned well in advance. It can involve single or multiple teams and may vary in terms of risk level. They need two-level approvals and must be implemented only during the scheduled maintenance window.

Emergency: These types of change requests are initiated when work is disrupted. They are used to restore services or situations, which will have immediate impact on the service if action is not taken. They are taken as high-priority and changes must be implemented immediately. These changes do not follow the complete change flow of a normal change request as time is of the essence. Emergency changes requests are formally raised after the change is made.

Benefits of ServiceNow Change Management

Change Visualization: While assessing a change request, service maps allow for visualization of the change’s impacts to help the enterprise make informed decisions on change efforts. Identify weaknesses and problematic areas by visualizing business processes with ServiceNow performance analytic tools in Change Management. Enterprises can also analyze historical data to calculate expected closure time of changes.

Automation: ServiceNow can make real changes to the business environment with well-defined workflows, which aid in faster closure of changes. By automating the entire change lifecycle process according to an enterprise’s needs, the demand for human intervention at every step is reduced. It eliminates the manual work done by change managers.

Risk Assessment: With automated risk assessment, ServiceNow enables enterprises to make better decisions by calculating the overall risk of a change. It calculates the amount of risk involved automatically, using top-level CMDB data and user feedback. On uploading the requirements and criteria for the change, the tool can perform a risk assessment, which will appear inside each change request.

Conflict Scheduling: ServiceNow provides a consolidated view of all planned changes in an interactive timeline that makes way to identify scheduling conflicts. It automatically identifies conflicts when changes are set at the same time or impact the same or associated items.

CAB Workbench: Enterprises can easily invite, plan, schedule and manage CAB meetings with dedicated service portals with ServiceNow CAB Workbench. It simplifies and automates the aspects of CAB meetings and reduces monotonous work of change managers. Define meeting agenda, meeting attendees, approve or reject requests, view change calendar, take meeting notes in real-time with CAB Workbench.

Standard Change Catalog: The frequently made low-risk standard changes when done repeatedly can consume a significant time of the resources involved in the change lifecycle process. ServiceNow addresses this issue with Standard Change Catalog, which serves as a repository and stores all the changes approved as ‘standard changes.’ It approves such low-risk changes by initiating them from the service catalog.

ServiceNow Change Management improves the quality of changes and minimizes the threat of change-induced incidents by ensuring that top standard processes are used to handle the changes made to the IT system. It aims to achieve successful changes at first attempt. It assesses the impact and benefits of changes at a high-level and also communicates the change plans and schedules to all the stakeholders and affected users involved in a timely manner. ServiceNow is empowered with a constellation of tools and is one of the top ITSM systems in the market. Its multiple capabilities offer a competitive advantage and brings in higher ROI to any enterprise.

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