Policies and procedures are nothing new in the world of information security. One of the best things you can do to secure your environment is to develop detailed policies to keep your employees educated on the proper security processes that need to be implemented within your organization.

Writing a change management policy is just one step you can take to better secure your organizational and IT systems. Every organization focuses on a different change management process, which means your organization needs to define change management policies that are specific to your processes.

So, what is change management and how can establishing a clear change management process help your organization?

What is Change Management & Why Do I Need a Change Management Policy?

Change management has become more complex and includes more terms, such as change management processes, policies, and procedures. What is change management, then? At the core, change management is the official method and process of making changes to an organization’s IT systems. The change management process is designed with the intent of reducing errors when changes are made to IT systems. When disruptions occur, organizations are negatively impacted, which is why writing a change management policy is so important.

For security-minded organizations, writing a change management policy is a necessary piece of developing a thorough Information Security Policy. You can ensure that your organization minimizes disruption and reduces risk through the implementation of a clear change management process. It’s about creating policies and procedures that work for your organization and not against it.

What to Include in Your Change Management Policy

There are countless types of changes that can be made to your IT systems. Which of those are important enough to be addressed in your policies?

Whether it’s an emergency change, standard change, or routine change such as application, software, or network changes – an approach to every type of change should be addressed. When writing a change management policy, organizations need to keep in mind the various stages of the change management process and include policies that align with these stages.

Let’s take a look at 7 common change management stages that you should include in your change management policy:

  • Planning – Design, schedule, and plan out your changes to IT systems in this stage.
  • Evaluation – Determine the level of risk associated with the change, the change type associated with your goals, and which of the change processes to use in the implementation of the specific changes.
  • Approval – Gain approval from the responsible parties in order to initiate the changes that have been designed.
  • Communication – Inform applicable parties of the changes that can be expected, the time frame of when the changes will be initiated, and any other necessary details about the changes.
  • Implementation – Implement the changes according to the written plan and during the scheduled time.
  • Documentation – All changes, review, approvals, and plans must be documented according to information security standards.
  • Post-Change Review – After the monitoring of the change implementation, the post-change review will be conducted to determine any necessary adjustments.

A change management policy should also include definitions surrounding organizational change management, an explanation of the types of changes, and a list of roles and responsibilities. As change is a necessary part of organizational growth, it needs to be managed securely.

Whether its in the form of an SDLC or IT Asset Management Plan, developing proper procedures is the first step in securing your IT systems and processes.

Make sure you’re setting your organization up for security success by contacting KirkpatrickPrice today. Take the next step to learn more about what you can do to secure your systems.

More Change Management Resources

SOC 2 Academy: Change Management Best Practices

PCI Requirement 6.4 – Follow Change Control Processes and Procedures for all Changes to System Components

SOC 2 Academy: Change Control Processes