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Change Management

Change management can mean two quite different things.

1. When a document, computer program or other item changes, it is quite possible that this could cause all kinds of problems. To manage this risk, the item is put into a state of change control where any required changes to it kicks off a process.

This change management process may include: 

  • A limited number of people who can change the item.
  • Approvals of changes before they are made.
  • Testing and review of changes made.
  • Records of all changes made.
  • A list of people who are informed of changes.

2. When an organization is changed in some ways, such as new processes, new strategic direction, etc. the biggest dilemma is likely to be in persuading people who are affected by the change that it is either desirable or inevitable.

Quality programs that fail (and large-scale programs are  often quoted as failing around 80% of the time) tend to do so because of human change management issues rather than technical or process problems. The biggest problem is often one of sponsorship, where true commitment can be a very difficult thing to establish and maintain.

Organizational change is probably the biggest headache for many quality professionals and success in the job can be more about competency with psychology than technical ability.

See also:

Change Acceleration Process (CAP)

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