Faulty changes to the IT infrastructure can lead to critical system and application outages, and therefore cause serious economical losses. in this paper, we describe a change planning support tool that aims at assisting the change requesters in leveraging aggregated information associated with the change, like past failure reasons or best implementation practices. The thus gained knowledge can be used in the subsequent planning and implementation steps of the change. Optimal matching of change requests with the aggregated information is achieved through the classification of the change request into about 200 fine-grained activities. We propose to automatically classify the incoming change requests using various information retrieval and machine learning techniques. The cost of building the classifiers is reduced by employing active learning techniques or by leveraging labeled features. Historical tickets from two customers were used to empirically assess and compare the accuracy of the different classification approaches (Lucene index, multinomial logistic regression, and generalized expectation criteria). © 2011 IEEE.