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Change Management and Configuration Management

Change Management and Configuration Management

Change Management

Change Management is a collective term for all tactics and methodologies to organize, support and help individuals, teams, and corporates in making a managerial change. It is a systemic strategy to deal with the changeover of a business’s objectives, procedures, and technologies.

A Change Management Plan is a general plan that directs the Project Manager in making any sort of change on the project particularly those that influence the baseline (scope, cost baseline, and time). It documents how these changes will be monitored and controlled. Change Management is applicable to many kinds of changes in the project. Therefore, its important how the changes will be managed, assessed, and documented throughout the project’s lifecycle. Two imperative conditions for change management include:

  • Time: If time is not managed efficiently, it will result in delays. If these interruptions are not recoverable, the project manager needs to develop a new schedule to deliver the project on time.
  • Cost: In case the cost estimations are outdated, the project manager must develop a new project budget and assess the project costs again.

Example:

Suppose you are supervising a pipeline project. According to your contract, land procurement works is under the client’s responsibility. If the client couldn’t complete land procurement work on time consequently resulting in delay for two months. Under these circumstances, you will need to submit a change request to extend your work schedule by two months and get it approved by the client.

The primary purpose of change management is to execute strategies that effect change, control change, and help people to adapt to change. These strategies comprise of a structured process for requesting a change and systems for responding to requests and follow them up. Typically, there are three types of change management including:

Individual Change Management

You can change techniques and systems, but if you don’t address human, you will perhaps not be changing anything. However, to create a change among people, you must be aware of the subject. One significant tool for this change is psychology and even neuroscience can help you figure out the appropriate angle from one behaviour to the other creative one.

Organizational Change Management

While the people in your team are the key target to effect change, organizational concerns are equally important if you want to create a real change for a project. For this purpose, you need to identify the groups that require change and how they should make a change. Afterwards, develop a plan that supports these components of the project and make everyone aware of the change. The ultimate goal is to drive the change among organization while managing the entire project.

Enterprise Change Management

This is one step up from the organizational change to address the enterprise. This refers to encompassing all aspects of a business including roles and responsibilities, processes, projects etc. By impending change on the macro-level, you will more likely to execute the change on the micro-level first. This is a strategic engagement creating a nimbler organization, being flexible and acclimatize quickly to the proceeding changes.

The change management plan deals changes to the “process”  whereas  the configuration management oversees how any change to the “product” should be done.

Configuration Management

PMBOK® Guide Sixth Edition defines Configuration Management as:

“A subsystem of an inclusive project management. It is an assortment of officially recognized processes for methodological and managerial direction. It defines the physical and practical aspects of products, services, outcomes, control and any modifications in the record while at the same time report every change, support the review of products and authenticate conformance to requirements. It includes the formal documents, tracking systems, and accepted levels for sanctioning and monitoring changes.”

Configuration management (CM) is a business process for creating and maintaining constancy of a product’s performance, practicality, and physical qualities with its requirements, design and functional information. Configuration Management emphasizes on the specifications of deliverables and processes. It is mostly referred as version control system for the product of the project. It outlines those elements that are configurable and requires formal change control and the procedures for monitoring these changes. Change control modifies the established scope, duration, and cost baselines of a formal project management plan. These baselines are advanced in the planning phase of a project. As soon as the project enters the execution phase, the requested changes are reviewed and either approved or disapproved by the Change Control Board.

Project configuration management monitors the configuration of all project’s key products and resources. This includes final products that will be delivered to the client along with managing products such as project management plan and performance managing baseline.

  • Planning: A configuration management plan provides you with the record, pathway, control, and audit configuration. This is an important part of the project quality management plan.
  • Identification: In this step, all configuration requirements on a project are identified and recorded. This includes operational needs, design requirements, and other key specifications. This results in the configuration baseline for the project once the process completes.
  • Control: When the project scope is modified, the influence on the configuration needs to be evaluated, approved, and documented. Typically, this is done within the project change control procedure.
  • Status Accounting: You must track the project’s configuration at all time and have the ongoing and historical record of all versions. This helps in tracking changes throughout the project.
  • Audit: This step comprises of assessments to demonstrate that the product adapts with the configuration requirements. Audits and checks are developed in the completion of foremost project levels to help you identify the issues at an early stage.

Example:

Suppose you are running an electric store and a client requests you for cabling for an automated system which is not in your capacity. This request modifies the project designs, schedule, and financial plan. Subsequently, you will raise the configuration change request which needs to be accepted by the client. These changes will be carried out under the configuration management system since the specification of the product is changed.

Key Differences:

Configuration Management primarily focuses on configurable items such as products, services, and outcomes. It leads to changes that are specific to the product configuration. The changes are primarily related to product configuration. On the other hand, change management focuses on the process. It results in changes that influences scope, schedule baseline, and cost baseline. It is important to note that both are individual plans and are part of the Project Management Plan.

Change management plan. Describes how the change requests throughout the project will be formally authorized and incorporated. PMBOK 6

Configuration management plan. Describes how the information about the items of the project (and which items) will be recorded and updated so that the product, service, or result of the project remains consistent and/or operative. PMBOK 6

Further Readings

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