Change Management vs Change Control. What’s the Difference?
The race for results and competitive advantage has thrust wave after wave of change on many of us. While change is not necessarily a bad thing, it does need to be executed to considers the impact on the company, the ongoing project needing change, the people and broader stakeholder groups.
In light of that, I thought it would be helpful to draw the line between change control and change management – a kind of project management for beginners.
What is change control?
Change control refers to the steps that a project or change manager needs to go through to get a change in the project referred to upper management for approval, deferral, or rejection. it involves a number of steps, from notifying the members of the change team to implementing the change if it is approved.
In many projects now, it is common for a project manager to be paired with a change manager. As is common in these roles and disciplines, change control has a specific set of guidelines. While there are specific protocols for change control in common methodologies, such as ITIL and ITSM, following these general guidelines ensures that the proposed change is one that the key stakeholders can agree on.
Steps of Change Control
File a change request
Explain what the change is, why it is needed, and why the project would benefit from implementing such a change. This document answers the question of who is responsible for change control while also notifying all the members of the team about the proposed change and its consequences.
Submitting the change request for review by the entire team.
Make sure that the entire team is on board with the potential changes. This may involve having a meeting with the entire team in which you present your reasons for filing the change request. The change may also be subject to a more thorough inspection so that the effects on the project’s time of completion, cost, workforce impact, and method may be reviewed.
Involve the end user or customer in the final decision.
Draft a document for the end user or customer’s benefit that includes both the options that the team is providing to implement the proposed change. Make sure that the team includes their option of choice. This allows the customer to make an informed choice for the good of their project.
The project’s outline or plan is updated to include the change for approval by the sponsor or appropriate person who is authorised to ok the change. The official document that includes a detailed plan of the project and its steps is made to undergo alterations so that the approved change is recorded for all team members to see.
What is change management?
Change management is a broader term than change control. While change control extends to only one project, change management involves the full suite of tactical business approaches using tools, methods and models that support transitioning of the organisation, people, technologies, systems and locations.
An article published in the Journal of Change Management in 2002 argues that “While change must be well managed, it also requires effective leadership to be successfully introduced and sustained.” This hints at the need for strong leadership to support in the dynamics of successful change implementation.
Steps of Change Management
Identify the need for the change and prepare a change plan.
Evaluate your department, company or partnership progress. Pinpoint the aspect that needs to undergo change and formulate a plan to implement the change.
Forward your plan for approval.
Present a strong business case to stakeholders, notifying them of proposed changes better and engage those most impacted in validation and refinement of the change plan.
Draft a document for the end user or customer’s benefit that includes both the options that the team is providing to implement the proposed change. Make sure that the team includes their option of choice. This allows the management to make an informed choice for the good of their project.
The official document that includes a detailed plan of the project and its steps is made to undergo alterations. This is so that the approved change is recorded for all team members to see.
Deal with resistance to the proposed change.
Everyone impacted by change has some level of resistance, regardless if the change is perceived as positive or negative. Recognising and proactively surfacing this resistance allows project and change managers to facilitate a smoother transition.
Change Control vs. Change Management
Change management can be applied at numerous levels within the organisation, with the goal of the change in mind. Change control is the set of protocols for the implementation of a certain change in an ongoing project or program. Depending on the change scenario change control may or may not occur.
The common aspect of both these concepts is the need for approval from stakeholders, fellow team members or board members. Proper communication is one of the most important things to practise while leading business change.