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An analysis of the success factors in implementing an ITIL-based IT Change and Release Management Application

Based on the IBM Change and Configuration Management Database (CCMDB)

Master's Thesis 2012 89 Pages

Computer Science - Commercial Information Technology

Excerpt

Table of contents

I Declaration of Authorship

II Abstract

III Table of contents

IV List of figures and graphs

V List of tables

VI Glossary and Abbreviations

1. Introduction
1.1. The organisation
1.2. Course of the project
1.3. Aims
1.4. Demarcation
1.5. Procedure

2. Literature Review
2.1. Purpose of an IT change and release management
2.2. Critical success factors of organisational change management
2.3. Critical success factors of an IT system implementation
2.4. IT process modelling with the support of a reference models
2.5. Definition of success factors in IT projects
2.6. Hypotheses

3. Empirical Research Methodology
3.1. Research approaches
3.2. Population and Sampling
3.3. Data Analysis
3.4. Reliability
3.5. Limitations
3.6. Research timetable

4. Presentation and analysis of data
4.1. Demographical statistic
4.2. Results of questionnaire
4.3. Results of the interview

5. Conclusions and recommendations
5.1. Conclusion of the need of the IT change and release management
5.2. Conclusion of the demographical statistic
5.3. Conclusions of the hypothesises
5.4. Managerial recommendations for the organisation
5.5. Managerial recommendations for other companies
5.6. Theoretical implications

6. Reflection

7. List of references

8. Appendices
8.1. Organisation portfolio
8.2. Organisation of “anonym” Group
8.3. Organisation of the „anonym“ GmbH
8.4. The five ITIL® units
8.5. ITIL® Transition unit with IT change and release management
8.6. ITIL® IT Change Management Process Workflow
8.7. Questionnaire
8.8. Time table

Abstract

To ensure the quality of the IT environment for the future the majority of IT managers followed a strategy to introduce an IT change and release management application in the past few years. The present thesis researches if the implementations of the given success factors are leading to a successful implementation of a workflow-based IT change and release management application and will moreover find further success factors. This is done with help of five hypothesises. The five hypothesises are based on the HR change management issues, on the ITIL® reference model and on general process issues.

The HR change management offers with the eight step model of Kotter critical success factor for changes in the business. Publications of Kotter are used to illustrate that the described success factors lead to successful HR change implementation. The ITIL® reference model defines critical success factors for a successful IT change and release management implementation and are used for a research for the effectiveness of this model. The ITIL® reference model and process issues publications of the official ITIL® source and literature of Laudon & Laudon are used for the present thesis. In addition other researchers in this field are important mentioned as well.

Subsequent to that, the findings were integrated into the questionnaire and the interviews and used as well get an initial assessment. The mixture of the qualitative and quantitative approaches uses the strengths of both methods. The given answers strongly depend on the respondent’s point of view.

It becomes clear that a successful implementation of an IT change and release management application comes not only from the implementation of the HR change management issues but also from the implementation of the IT issues. The combination of HR and IT issues with their specialised success factors is the best way to gain a successful IT change and release management implementation. But the research discovered further improvements and optimisations which mainly deal with redesigned processes.

The process redesigns based on modification on the ITIL® reference model to optimise the IT change process. The optimisations include a skip of the formal RfC request form to shorten the whole process-chain during the application of an IT change. Furthermore an implementation of a key technical employee should be deploy to authorise the IT change instead of an authorisation of the central positioned change manager.

The recommendations at the end of this research are helpful for the „anonym“ GmbH organisation as well as for other companies. Theoretical implications could be done as well for the ITIL® reference model and for MIS implementation success factors.

IV List of figures and graphs

Figure 1: Illustration of the structure of the Master Thesis

Figure 2: Strategy challenges between business and IT

Figure 3: Eight step model for HR change management

Figure 4: Organisational change carries risks and rewards

Figure 5: Interconnection the standards

Figure 6: Research timetable

Figure 7: Statistical Age Analysis

Figure 8: Statistical Age Analysis

Figure 9: Feedback quote of the questionnaire

Figure 10: Need of an IT Change Management

Figure 11: Ordering of the literature success factors

Figure 12: Adoption of ITIL® process for RfC’s

Figure 13: Authorisation through Change Manager

Figure 14: Personal benefits of ITIL® usage

Figure 15: Time table

V List of tables

Table 1: BPR methodology

Table 2: Overview of COBIT, ITIL and ISO/IEC 27002

Table 3: Questionnaire Sample Size

Table 4: S.M.A.R.T table

VI Glossary and Abbreviations

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

1. Introduction

This introduction contains a summarisation of the organisation that explaining how it is structured and the linked between the main departments. The following chapter contains a description of the course of the IT change and release management application project which is the basis for the research of the present thesis. The third part of the introduction defines the aims and illustrates the demarcation. Finally the procedures chapter gives an overview of the structure of the present thesis.

1.1. The organisation

This chapter starts with the description of the “anonym” group and their subordinate company „anonym“ GmbH which is responsible for the IT infrastructure.

1.1.1. The “anonym” group

The „anonym“ group is the umbrella organisation which contains many subordinate companies. The „anonym“group one of the leading retail, travel and tourism companies in Europe.

1.1.2. The „anonym“ GmbH

„anonym “ GmbH is the central and international solution provider for the informationand telecommunication systems. The „anonym“ GmbH was established in 1991 as an independent company inside of the „anonym“ Group.

Today the „anonym “ GmbH has more than 750 IT-specialists mainly based in Cologne. The main purpose of the company is to modernise and optimise existing systems and find ways to make IT more efficient for the company as a whole. They set the standards for IT- assignment for the retailing business and develops new technologies for the trade sector.

The „anonym “ GmbH uses the operative (run), tactical (build) and strategically (plan) model. It is a circular life-cycle with distinct steps where each stage has a cascading effect on the other.

The operational area is the AB unit and contains mainly IT administrators which are on a daily basis responsible for an error free operation of all the servers and applications of the „anonym“ GmbH inclusive with 24x7 on-call support.

Nearly 300 IT administrators are working in AB and they are nationwide in charge of over 1,500 server systems inclusive storage libraries, 13,500 network connections, 10,000 scanner terminals in the shops and much more. The AB unit is also responsible for the IT change and release management application implementation, located in the department AB.

1.2. Course of the project

IT is described as an enabler for the business but the ever increasing IT infrastructure with its ever increasing complexity has become its own challenge for the „anonym“ GmbH as well as for other companies.

The IT environment has in the last 10 years grown extremely fast and many companies were not able to adapt to the fast pace of the IT infrastructure and the restructuring needed to organise the work of the IT administrators properly. To ensure the quality of the IT environment for the future the majority of IT managers have followed a strategy to introduce an IT change and release management application in the past few years.

„anonym“ GmbH introduced in year 2006 a web-based non-process IT change management form named Wikie without including any type of workflows or processing issues. IT administrators had to fill out forms with some required information to open an IT change and did not get any important or additional feedback from the system.

About two years later two independent external consulting companies, discovered in year 2008 the missing process-controlled IT change and release management application and the management of „anonym“ GmbH decided to implement such an application where the production stated goal should be reached the end of the year 2009. The project started 2008 with an evaluation of the available CMDB tools on the market and the decision was made for IBM’s Chance and Configuration Management Database (CCMDB) application where the surface interfaces and workflows could be modified for the special needs of „anonym“ GmbH.

At the same time some internal workshops were generated to work out the needs and requirements for the IT change and release management application implementation inclusive their inputs of operational sequences and requirements for the workflow as well as the process design.

Two months later the top management of the company decided to generate a productive project group with seven employees who were in the position to realise the implementation of the IT change and release management. It was a preliminary stage before the business unit IT Service Management department unit was generated.

The reason for the series of workshops was that inside of the company there were no defined and documented processes which could be mapped one to one into the CCMDB application. The missing processes on paper made optimisation and evaluation of the processes nearly impossible and had to be collected first from every expertise team. The employees are working mostly together on call for years which of course can be seen as a kind of process but it is not an overall defined and standardised process for a structural work for the whole workforce inside of the „anonym“ GmbH company.

The result of the workshops was a huge amount of processes which were implemented into the IT change and release management application. With these complicated processes, technical discrepancies and problems within management it was easy for the employees to avoid as well as to resist the new IT change and release management application. After two month of being online with the application it was became clear for every one involved that a positive impact was not viewed and a continuation of the rollout had to be stopped for the time being.

The management of „anonym“ GmbH agreed to a second attempt to implement the IT change and release management application without repeating past mistakes. The managers implemented organisational changes and the ITSM team was in the position to redesign the application usage.

It was a challenge for the second attempt to deal with the environmental change and introduction of the IT change and release management application at the same time. These reason being was that the internal working system and the social networking between the employees were changing significantly.

This circumstance which had to be respected in another way compared to the initial position of the first attempt of the rollout. For the second attempt at the IT change and release management application implementation a series of small workshop with less than 10 employees of the department unit AB were held before the process and the surface of the application was redesigned. In this phase a decision was made that the ITIL® v3 reference model should support the new process design.

The second implementation started in the end of September 2011 with the first department inside of the AB unit and was finished in the middle of March with the last department in the whole AB unit.

1.3. Aims

The aim of this master thesis is to analyse the success factors of an implementation of an IT change and release management application in the operational AB unit of the organisation.

To measure success the word itself has to be described and defined. Therefore an evaluation of key success factors had to be set. With a measurement tool the success can be analysed and interpreted for both implementation attempts.

An implementation of an IT change and release management application involves organisational human resources, IT specific and process issues. The non-process web form and the both attempts of the rollout of the application will be analysed as well as compared. The result will be able to show that the described success factors given in the process / literature had a positive effect in implementation of an IT change and release management application. Furthermore the result should be able to find issues to improve the implemented IT change and release management application which could not be found in the process / literature to improve the project in the long-term existence.

From the management perspective the recommendations of the present thesis were able to improve the IT change and release management application implementation.

The improvements led to a higher positive return of investment, leading to a more effective IT service management, improving of business services and a standardisation the processes reaching a higher quality of service for the „anonym“ GmbH organisation as well for other companies.

The data collection needed for the approach is further defined and described in chapter 3.

1.4. Demarcation

In the past few years many IT change and release management applications were introduced on the market and these have individual strengths and weaknesses for every organisation. Every organisation is in the position to figure out which application is the right one for their needs and this thesis will not call into question the CCMDB application. Moreover this thesis will not describe the technical problems and issues which can occur or occurred during an implementation of an IT change management application. For this there is enough more specialised literature and expertise knowledge available and thus it is not a subject of this work.

Additionally the present master thesis will not deal with the risks and financial issues inclusive in a profitability analysis. The decision to implement an IT change and release management application was made from the management and will not contested or justified.

The focus of this master thesis is on the conceptually part of the implementation of an IT change management application with the involvement of the human resource change management and IT change and release management process issues.

1.5. Procedure

The present thesis is structured into the following chapters:

- Chapter 2: Contains a theoretical review of the research which described the existing approaches for a successful implementation of an organisational change as well as success factor of the implementation of an IT change and release management application.
- Chapter 3: Explains the chosen methodology for primary data research.
- Chapter 4: Presents the results of chapter 3 and analysis of these questionnaires and interviews.
- Chapter 5: Conclusions of the research findings and recommendations for the company as well as an explanation of the theoretical implications.
- Chapter 6: Self-reflection of the gained knowledge and findings during working on the present master thesis.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 1: Illustration of the structure of the Master Thesis (Own diagram)

2. Literature Review

To have an effectively run business the „anonym“ GmbH company the employees have to perform effectively. If the managers of a business decides to change or modify in-company issues the employees are naturally affected. Not every employee is able to acclimate to these changes and can resist, becoming demotivated or there can occur other reasons which decrease the overall efficiency. Human resource change management strategies were implemented in the past few decades to motivate as well as to avoid a reduction of the efficiency of the employees and therefore for the business.

The employees are not the only enabler for the business but also the role of the IT infrastructure become more important in the last years. The IT becomes an important supporter for the business with their IT-based automatised processes which are able to increase the efficiency of every organisation.

While IT has been seen primarily as a rationalisation tool in the early days, it is increasingly viewed as an important competitive factor for organisations (Tiemeyer, 2011). Additionally, the value contribution of IT to business success is discussed (keyword: "IT Governance") today (Tiemeyer, 2011). With the changing role of IT in businesses there are, of course, appropriate changes in the requirements of modern IT management (Tiemeyer, 2011).

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 2: Strategy challenges between business and IT (Adapted from Tiemeyer, 2011, p.9)

Changing the business processes which are defined in IT environments has the result that the software has also to be changed. IT systems are often not that flexible because the program design of an application is written in a machine code language which is static in nature. A change in a source code can have a tremendous amount of influence on all of the other processes as well including the time consuming fact to changing and developing the program design. On the other hand a change in the IT processes, which comes from the IT strategy, can also have an impact for the business and can lead therefore in major changes.

Thus it roughly is comprehensible that 2/3 of the IT implementations have failed in the past years because not every company is able to go as far as should be necessary. Another reason for the high failure rate is due to underestimation of the human and organisational issues. The reason depends on the complexity of the relationship between organisational change and the IT systems (Lientz & Rea, 2004). “Persistent and lasting change is often best supported through automation; getting results from investment in IT often requires change in the work and processes.” (Lientz & Rea, 2004)

Because of the ever increasing IT environments, especially in larger companies, the role of IT inevitably got their own strategy for the IT landscapes. To embrace the IT strategy new departments with IT leaders named Chief Information Officer (CIO) were created. CIO’s have also to be efficient with their IT environments to support the efficiency of the organisation. To control the workforce and the modification on IT components an IT change and release management was implemented in a number of companies especially in larger organisations.

A result of the implementation of a workflow-based and process orientated IT change and release management application inclusive to their introduction affected the employees as well like other changes which were made in an organisation. The IT strategy is like the business is depending on the effective attitude towards the work of the employees and therefore the human resource change management issues are involved as well.

It is obvious that a successful implementation of management information (MIS) system, like the IT change and release management application is, will have to deal with technical and behaviour approaches. The thesis researches the impact of the implementation as a means to understand changes for the organisation as well as for the employees. To reach the common goal in an common infrastructure the implementation of an IT change and release management is affected by the following summarised key issues which have to be respected for the a successful realisation:

- Critical success factors of organisational change management
- Critical success factors of an IT system implementation
- IT process modelling with the support of a reference models

2.1. Purpose of an IT change and release management

The project of implementing an IT change and release management application has the purpose to simplify and to structure the processes of all the IT changes inside of the IT landscape. To execute a modification on an IT system the IT administrator has to request it in the IT change and release management application. The IT administrator has to specify the modification on applications and server systems according to a given job plan which is a part of the IT service quality management to standardise operational sequences. Furthermore IT changes are documented and are able to cover difficulties in the run-up of the real modification during the workflow processes of the application and therefore resolved during planning instead of resolving the problem on the system themselves. An IT administrator is able to see the impact to various other issues during planning an IT change. For an impact analyses the IT administrator has to attach a configuration item (CI) to the IT change. A CI contains information about the logical and structural part of an IT component. A CI can be a whole server system, a network card as well as a special application. The definition what a CI is is a job task of the configuration management team which is part of the IT change and release management and therefore an element of the ITSM department unit. With the indication of a CI in an IT change an impact analysis is possible to other IT systems inclusive their dependencies between IT components, frozen zones, blackout periods, maintenance windows as well as to other IT changes which can happens in the same time independent or dependent on the own requested IT change.

2.2. Critical success factors of organisational change management

The management of every organisation decides an introduction of an IT system to gain an advantage or benefit for the business. To reach the management targets the employees have to use the IT systems which are connoted also as an organisational change because the system usage affects the employee’s behaviour. The management must therefore implement a strategy of organisational change management inside of the organisation.

Organisational change management includes tasks, measurements and actions towards an overall change. An organisational change management is necessary for the realisation of new strategies, structures, systems, processes and / or behaviours which should be implement into the organisation.

Kotter (1996) says that a change process in an organisation goes through a series of phases which needs a considerable length of time. Skipping a phase creates the illusion of quickness but the quality of the change is not given as a result (Kotter, 1996). Kotter (1996) developed the eight steps model to increase the chance to lead an organisation to success:

1. Establishing a sense of urgency
- Examining market and competitive realities
- Identifying and discussing crises, potential crises, or major opportunities

2. Forming a powerful guiding coalition
- Assembling a group with enough power to lead the change effort
- Encouraging the group to work together as a team

3. Creating a vision
- Creating a vision to help direct the change effort
- Developing strategies for achieving that vision

4. Communicating the vision
- Using every vehicle possible to communicate the new vision and strategies
- Teaching new behaviours by the example of the guiding coalition

5. Empowering others to act on the vision
- Getting rid of obstacles to change
- Changing systems or structures that seriously undermine the vision
- Encouraging risk taking and non-traditional ideas, activities, and actions

6. Planning for and creating short-term wins
- Planning for visible performance improvements
- Creating those improvements
- Recognising and rewarding employees involved in the improvements

7. Consolidating improvements and producing still more change
- Using increased credibility to change systems, structures, and policies that do not fit the vision
- Hiring, promoting, and developing employees who can implement the vision
- Reinvigorating the process with new projects, themes, and change agents

8. Institutionalising new approaches
- Articulating the connections between new behaviours and corporate success
- Developing the means to ensure leadership development and succession

One of the key issue during the change is the communication which is further defined in the kind of communication, the time, the content and the target group of to be informed persons (Balogun & Hailey, 2008). These issues embedded into the eight steps model of Kotter lead to a holistic overview of the model which it can be seen in the following figure 3.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 3: Eight step model for HR change management (Adapted from Kotter, 1996)

The usage of the eight steps model is not automatically a guarantee for a success. It is more a guidance for those issues which should be respected during a change management process.

As logical the eight steps model from Kotter seems to be but it is, like other models also given in the literature it is still affected by challenges and mistakes which are made during the change management processes in an organisation.

One of the biggest challenge is the emotional factors on people attitudes to change (Haberberg & Rieple, 2008). Kotter and Schlesinger (2008) said that resistance of change is because of the misunderstanding and lack of trust. If people in demanding situations retreat into familiar, and thus psychologically comfortable, territory, they make conservative decisions (Haberberg & Rieple, 2008). Potential triggers for this include (Haberberg & Rieple, 2008):

- Fear of the new
- Loss of autonomy
- Fear of incompetence
- Change fatigue

Another challenge is that the most of the organisations have a lot of small and large changes running at the same time (Anderson & Anderson, 2010). This fact makes it difficult for the employees to decide which change is the most important and it seems that they resist the changes (Anderson & Anderson, 2010). This is NOT an issue of the employees and is therefore a leadership issue where the management has to make the changes understandable for all involved (Anderson & Anderson, 2010).

A lack of the vision is also a challenging issue for many companies which are helping to clarify the direction in which an organisation needs to move (Kotter, 1996). Without having a well-defined and communicated vision, a transforming effort can easily dissolve into a list of confusing and incompaABle projects that can take the organisation in the wrong direction or nowhere at all (Kotter, 1996).

A change needs clear and thoughtful governance with a clear structure of the roles that are needed to lead and carry out the change (Anderson & Anderson, 2010). If managers delegate the plan of action to the project team they must not forget to give them authority to making key decisions (Anderson & Anderson, 2010).

Most people have not the patience to support a long-term change and want to see the first result between 12 and 24 months (Kotter, 1996). Without having some short-term achievement the majority of people may join the ranks of those who have been resisting the change or simply give up (Kotter, 1996).

Capacity is often underestimated and leaders are loading changes on the top of their everyday operational work which leads to stress, a drop in morale and lowed performance (Anderson & Anderson, 2010). The timeline of changes must be defined as well as the maintenance of the operational performance without over-burdening people (Anderson & Anderson, 2010).

Prokesch (2009) offers for the company General Electric a not “real” formula to interpret the effectiveness of a change. He said that the acceptance of change multiplied with the quality of the analysis is the result of an effectiveness change. If one of the factors is null the result is similarly null.

2.3. Critical success factors of an IT system implementation

Beyond the success factors of the change management the introduction of an IT involves much more than new software and hardware (Laudon & Laudon, 2012).

First of all the impact of the new IT system should clearly determine the
organisational change. Laudon & Laudon categorise four common forms as follow:

Figure 4: Organisational change carries risks and rewards (Laudon & Laudon, 2012)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

The implementation of an IT change and release management is one of the paradigm shifts because it involves rethinking the nature of the business and the nature of the organisation (Laudon & Laudon, 2012). Paradigm shifts is very difficult to orchestrate and have often failed (Laudon & Laudon, 2012). One of the main challenges for a paradigm shift is the transformation of the business processes into the IT system.

A process, according to Davenport (1993) is “a structured, measured set of activities designed to produce a specified output for a particular customer or market. It implies a strong emphasis on how work is done within an organisation”.

2.3.1. Business process reengineering

In terms of the IT change and release management processes a business process reengineering (BPR) is to implement which “builds on total quality management (TQM) and therefore business process reengineering is further defined to illustrate the key components of reengineering, fundamental thinking, radical redesign, processes and dramatic improvements.” (Suhendra & Oswari, 2011)

The BPR methodology is may be characterised from several definitions which three of them are listed in the Table 1.

Table 1: BPR methodology (Adapted from Davenport, 1993b; Jacobson et al., 1995; Manganelli, 1993)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

To achieve higher profits and cost reduction, improve quality and productivity, and better customer service a successful reengineering project should include the following issues (Attaran & Wood, 1999):

1. Strategic alignment with the organisations strategic direction
2. Compelling business case for business change with measurable objectives
3. Proven methodology
4. Effective change management that addresses cultural transformation
5. Line management ownership and accountability
6. Knowledgeable and competent reengineering teams

[...]

Details

Pages
89
Year
2012
ISBN (eBook)
9783656321514
ISBN (Book)
9783656324454
File size
4.9 MB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v201983
Institution / College
University of East London
Grade
68 von 70 (ca. 1,3)
Tags
ITIL IT Change Management HR Change Management HRM COBIT ISO / IEC 27002 resistance organisational change critical success factor eight step model kotter IT implementation process release management

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Title: An analysis of the success factors in implementing an ITIL-based IT Change and Release Management Application