Insights on Change Control Management – Part 1
Facts on Change Control Management
Change Management, often called Change Control, is simply the process of managing most changes that can have positive OR negative effects on any environment- be it a small organization or a large one, be it department like IT, Human Resources, or a group of functions, or simply the internal way of doing things from day to day.
Change control in project management is a systematic approach to managing all changes to a product, process or system. The purpose is to ensure that no unnecessary changes are made, that all changes are documented, that services or products are not unnecessarily disrupted and resources are used efficiently.
Change is nature’s way of saying that what worked earlier may no longer fit the requirements. This may be for a variety of reasons such as
- Simple Evolution – In a lot of ways, change is evolutionary. Change is built in to the DNA of almost all things around us. Be it sooner or later, change manifests itself in various forms and shapes to affect what is done, how it is done, when it is done, or by whom.
- Change as a Survival Tactic - If the organization does not keep up the pace with changing technology, consumer demands, and effective business processes, they will lose their competitive edge.
- Environment Induced Change – Changes are often induced by the macro or micro environment requiring the organization to keep pace or be left behind.
- Business / Internal Changes – These often relate to changes brought about by change in business environment, may it be adding new products / services, upgrading / downgrading, addition or discontinuation, acquiring new business or increasing capacity
- Long Term Corporate Objectives - Corporate objectives that go beyond the conventional statements of quantified goals like % growth rate or return on investment or profit percent
- Culture and Value - Values relating to high standards of performance and work ethics reinforced among employees.
- Management Style - The extent of delegation and decentralization. Is delegation encouraged, and does it take place without interference in the delegated task?
- Business Strategy - Are the company’s functional (e.g, finance, personal, R&D etc) strategies consistent with each other?
- Organisational Structure - Structure resulting in clarity of relationships and simplicity
- Management System - Structure allowing for problems solving and entrepreneurship
- Quality of Human Resources - The extent of motivation and level of morale and commitment among employees especially lower level operatives.
- Working Climate and Leadership - The ability of the employees to share credit and recognition for achievement as a group rather than as individuals.
- Indirect Changes – Changes that are brought about by factors not planned earlier, like change in regulatory environment, local laws, societal demands, gap between expected & actual performance, an unplanned change in other inputs etc.
Change will inevitably happen. However, in order to benefit from change we need to know how to manage it effectively.
Usually, change occurs because a problem exists or in response to prevent a problem from occurring in future, and there is a clear idea for a better way to do work. While this sounds fairly easy, it often can be quite complicated and frustrating. Without a change control process in place, efforts can easily go awry leading to reinforcement of popular misgivings about change management.
Proper change management is akin to management foresight. The need for change is a foregone conclusion, how change is managed is often the critical deciding factor for success or failure.
That being so, for a variety of reasons, change is not always taken positively by people whose very existence depends on the change itself. As it often happens, change means encountering resistance. People, sometimes key people in key positions, protect the status quo, and often resist changes, no matter how slight they may be.
- Some folks are afraid of change in and of itself, commonly known as fear of unknown
- Some people are afraid of losing their control over a system or method
- Some people find no profit from changing a system that they see as working adequately
- People may fear that change may lead to social or economic disruptions
- People may fear that work group norms & harmony may get disrupted due to change efforts
- History of change efforts gone wrong may lead to people drawing similarities and hasty conclusions.
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