What's change control?
Change control is a systematic approach to managing all changes made to a product or system. The purpose is to make sure that no pointless changes are made, all changes are documented, services will not be unnecessarily disrupted and resources are used efficiently. Within information technology (IT), change control is a component of change management.
The change control process is usually conducted as a sequence of steps proceeding from the submission of a change request. Typical IT change requests embody the addition of features to software applications, the installation of patches and upgrades to network equipment or systems.
What is the process of change management?
Here's an example of a six-step process for a software change request:
Documenting the change request. The shopper's change request or proposal is categorized and recorded along with informal assessments of the importance of that change and the issue of implementing it.
Formal assessment. This step evaluates the justification for the change and the risks and benefits of making or not making the change. If the change request is accepted, a development crew will be assigned. If the change request is rejected, that is documented and communicated to the client.
Planning. The staff answerable for the change creates an in depth plan for its design and implementation, as well as for rolling back the change should it be deemed unsuccessful.
Designing and testing. The team designs the program for the software change and tests it. If the change is deemed profitable, the group requests approval and an implementation date.
Implementation and review. The staff implements the program and stakeholders evaluate the change.
Final assessment. If the shopper is glad with the implementation of the change, the change request is closed. If the shopper just isn't happy, the project is reassessed and steps may be repeated.
Change management in project management
Change control is an important part of project administration in IT and non-IT areas -- including manufacturing and pharmaceuticals -- and could be a formal or casual process. Project managers look at change requests to determine their potential impact on the project or system as a whole. Efficient change management processes are critical for incorporating obligatory modifications, while making certain they don't disrupt other project activities or delay progress. Each potential change should be evaluated in relation to its potential impact on the next:
scope of the project;
schedule of progress and milestones;
prices of additional labor and different resource requirements;
quality of the finished project, as extreme quantities of work can lead to rushed work, resulting in a higher likelihood of defects;
human resources, as change requests may require additional labor or specialized skills;
risk, as even minor adjustments can have a domino effect on the project leading to potential logistical, monetary or security risks;
procurement of supplies, labor, skills and other crucial project resources; and
stakeholders -- together with project managers, executives, firm owners, group members or buyers -- who might voice their support or push back on a project.
Benefits of change management
Effective change control can provide the following potential benefits for projects in any industry:
better value and risk avoidance;
lower risk associated with every particular person change;
reduced period of time wanted for modifications;
adjustments could be factored in with less disruption to project schedule, as requests will be considered and managed around the project timeline; and
project managers will learn about change wants in the planning phase and have time to consider doable programs of action.
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