As you may know, with the Spring 2017 update of Salesforce, many different features were upgraded or modified. But did you know your picklist integrations also got a tune up? Before now, when an admin renamed a picklist value, the integrations referencing the value had to be updated, such as through Data Import & Export, Apex, SOQL, etc. However, that has all changed. The solution: each picklist value is now represented with a label and an API name. Thus when an admin changes the label associated with a picklist value, the underlying API name will keep the associations the same and prevent integrations from breaking.
In addition to the ability to rename a picklist values’ label and API name, admins can block all picklist values’ API names from being changed by setting up a special permission. This feature is useful when you have multiple admins in your org and you want to make sure they don’t accidentally break integrations based on picklist values.
-Ryan and the Salesforce Guys