Implementing ITSM – what is organization change?

Implementing or improving IT service management or an IT organization always involves organization change, and is, in essence, an organizational change program. But what is organization change?

Organization change means transforming the basic characteristics of an organization, including how it is structured and how it relates to its surroundings. Organization change can be seen as a simple process, see the figure below. The change process is the process of moving from a current state, through a transitional period that can be disruptive to the organization, to a desired state that someone believes is better than the current state. Between the current and desired state is a point at which people break away from the status quo. They no longer behave as they have done in the past, yet they still have not thoroughly established the “new way” of operating. This is the transition state which begins when the change disrupts individual’s expectations and they must start to change the way they work.

The vision states the desired or intended future state of the organization in terms of its fundamental objective and strategic direction. The strategy describes how the organization will move from its current state towards the state described in the vision. It involves the path by which the organization plans to fulfill its vision. Achieving the desired state according to the vision should have the desired effects in business outcomes and customer value.

The gap between the current and desired state has to be identified and presented to senior management. They need to understand and commit to the required change before any action planning can start.

Job ten Hagen

(More information on this subject: chapter 9 in his book “Designing and Transforming IT Organizations“.)


  1. Easy to understand information, about a process my own organization is about to start. What is the use of knowing the current state, if you already know where you want to go (desired state)?

    • Cynthia

      The gap between present and future lets you perform impact assessment and determine change that is required. With this information plans can be made to implement and manage the change.

  2. A clear understanding of the current state helps to determine the scale, complexity and effort required to achieve the vision. Maturity models, benchmarking and gap assessment reports lead to identification of gaps in the elements of the “5P model” (figure 2.3): performance, people, process, product and partner. They also uncover the potential business outcome if the gap is closed. A documented gap assessment facilitates the prioritization of gaps and identification of areas for improvement.

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