Do we need to log an RFC for a Standard Change

By ITIL® from Experience©

It is imperative that all changes be logged. At a minimum it enables people to answer the question "what changed" when troubleshooting Incidents. That being said, Standard Changes1 can be logged as a Request For Change (RFC) of as a Service Request2 . Three perspectives can be used to determine when Standard Changes should be logged as RFCs vs Service Requests:

  • User requests;
  • I.T. staff requests; and
  • The scope of Change Management.

When the User requests a change described in the Service Catalogue it makes sense that it be logged as a Service Request, thus, the Request Fulfillment process can be used to manage their lifecycle. The definition of a Service Request from the ITIL® Glossary of 2006, also brings clarity as it states that: “Service Requests are usually handled by a Service Desk, and do not require an RFC to be submitted.”3 Therefore, they should be logged as a Service Request in the ITSM Tool4 when they:

  1. Are initiated by Users;
  2. Only impact the User making the request should the change fail;
  3. Can be implemented by the Service Desk.

Now, what happens when an I.T. staff requests a service provided by another I.T. group (i.e. an internal service)? For example, an Application Developer requesting a new server or a database backup/restore requested.

Even though an I.T. group can describe their (internal) service offering in a Service Catalogue, many requests I.T. staff makes can seriously impact services. This is where the scope of the Change Management Process comes in. For example, in some organizations, Change Management only applies to the production environment5 . As a result, all non-production related requests can be logged and managed as Service Requests to avoid congesting the Change Management Process6 .

In summary Standard Changes:

  1. All changes must be logged;
  2. When they are requested by a User and described in their Service Catalogue they are logged as Service Requests; and
  3. When they are requested by an I.T. staff, it can be a Service Request for the non-live/production environment otherwise an RFC is required.

“Ultimately, it will be up to each organization to decide and document which service requests it will handle through the request fulfillment process and which will have to go through other processes.”7 However, what is most important is that the Change Manager is able to protect the production environment by having the proper oversight of all RFCs.

Published on: 2014-07-03
Last updated on: 2017-04-06

"The 4 Ps for Change and Release: Planning Prevents Poor Performance."

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More on Change Management

ITIL Process > Change Management > Standard Change


Standard Change: (Service Transition) A pre-authorized change that is low risk, relatively common and follows a procedure or work instruction – for example, a password reset or provision of standard equipment to a new employee. Requests for change are not required to implement a standard change, and they are logged and tracked using a different mechanism, such as a service request.
Source: ITIL® glossary and abbreviations, English, 2011 www.itil-officialsite.com/InternationalActivities/TranslatedGlossaries.aspx

2 Service Request: (Service Operations) A formal request from a user for something to be provided – for example, a request for information or advice; to reset a password; or to install a workstation for a new user. Service requests are managed by the request fulfilment process, usually in conjunction with the service desk. Service requests may be linked to a request for change as part of fulfilling the request. www.itil-officialsite.com/InternationalActivities/TranslatedGlossaries.aspx
3 ITIL® Glossary v01, 1 May 2006
4 “In an organization where large numbers of service request have to be handled, and where the actions to be taken to fulfil those requests are very varied or specialized, it may be appropriate to handle service request as a completely separate work stream – and to record and manage them as a separate record type. This is essential if reporting is desired that more accurately separates incidents from requests.” (ITIL® v3 Service Operation, 2011 Edition, p. 87)
5 “Any service requests that impact CIs in the live environment should also be authorized through change management. In many cases, these will be standard changes. Use of these ensures that change management is kept aware of all changes that have taken place, including those triggered by request fulfillment.” (ITIL® v3 Service Operation, 2011 Edition, p.93)
6 ITIL® v3 Service Operation, 2011 Edition, p.86
7 Ibid p. 87


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