Change management is the process of identifying, documenting, and approving or rejecting changes to a system. It is an important aspect of the development and maintenance of a system because it helps ensure that changes to the system are implemented in a controlled and coordinated manner.
There are several reasons why change management is important:
- Change management helps prevent unexpected or unintended consequences of changes to a system. By carefully reviewing and approving changes, the risk of introducing errors or other problems into the system can be reduced.
- Change management helps maintain the integrity and stability of a system. By controlling the introduction of changes, the system can be kept in a known and stable state, which is important for maintaining the reliability and performance of the system.
- Change management helps ensure that changes to a system are properly documented and communicated to all relevant parties. This can help ensure that everyone is aware of the changes and how they may affect the system.
- Change management helps facilitate the orderly and efficient implementation of changes to a system. By following a structured process for reviewing and approving changes, the development and deployment of changes can be streamlined and made more efficient.
Real-world practical advice
"Hey can you change this one little thing for me?". This is a very common request. Here's the thing: users think a request is minimal, "no big deal" or "just a little thing". But because end-users don't have a full picture of a system, they do not have information to evaluate if a change is minimal or if it is more involved.
When a user asks you to change something, you should smile and take a deep breath. You should then spend time carefully understanding exactly what functionality the user wants and how you can best plan and implement the functionality.
In larger organizations, there is a well-established Request For Change process which uses a change request form. Always think before you make a change.
- Describe the need for change management.