The Change Control Management Process Explained

Having discussed change management in fair depth, we’ve had a shared journey of appreciation for, if nothing else, how complicated and weird this science is.

It’s not that it’s convoluted or fluffed up. It’s just a weird concept in application. But, there’s a yet weirder branch to this science, that being change control.

It sounds like a buzzword, another name for change management. Well, it is a form of change management, and it’s a specific and unique enough one to justify its own name.

Today, we’re going to approach this by looking at the change control management process.

We’re going to go in with the supposition we all know about the fundamentals of change management, and we will compare this process to what we know of them. How different is the change control management process? Well …

First of all, what is this? It’s a change management scenario used in engineering, IT and other technical fields, ones frequently subject to progress and change. This brings with it a certain mindset from the beginning, with the people being worked with. Some concerns, like freezing and the like, aren’t an issue.

The psychology aspects are not so much there.

This means that traditional change models are no longer important, and a fairly standard approach series is in place.

This orderly process begins with recording and classification of conditions such as status quo with the old system. You also continue to record all statistics throughout the change cycle.

Now, you make assessments of what upgrades or changes can improve competence, efficiency and maintain compliance to standards. With this information, you build plans for the changes to make. Software upgrades, machine upgrades, whatever the application may be. It’s all technical upgrading in this case, so training is also more straightforward once you get to that stage.

But first, after you plan, you acquire the technology you plan to implement, and you build a test environment. You run it for a while, stress test it and watch it in operation in an isolated setup. This makes the initial tremors of catastrophic failure inconsequential, beyond learning from them.

Next, you implement it into the real environment. You train your employees in this new technology, but it’s technical learning. New learning methods and teaching tools make technical training a breeze. Onboard software, LMS, it’s all easy to get running now. This is a blessing.

Finally, is closure, and enforcement of acceptance. This is the little bit of human element that is still there, but it’s mercifully minimalized. You must ensure that the new learning and new ways and technologies are naturally embraced as the new status quo.

This is often accomplished with creative incentivization through rewards, gamification, and a number of other things. There’s a lot of material, and there are a lot of case studies related to incentive, so you’re covered, don’t worry.

So, this is one of the first real change management sub types we’ve looked at. We’ve never been this specific before, and it was genuinely interesting to talk about something “real”.

This also gives us a new appreciation for how case specific change management really can be. The change control management process is one of the less hair pulling scenarios, though that doesn’t mean it’s not a challenge. But, if you’re not a people person and just want everyone to simply follow their job duty no matter what, then I pray this is the change management situation that’s thrust on you.

Christopher Smith
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.
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