Formal Change Control: Simple or Scary?

Does the phrase “Formal Change Control” lead to scary thoughts like “We don’t have the time to set that up,” or “We don’t know how to do it or where to start?” If this sounds like you, likely your organization is spending more time dealing with the downstream and long term repeated issues than if they took the time to outline a change control process.

While every company will vary, there are three basic phases of creating a formal change control process. Find out how to implement a formal change control process in these three phases.

  1. Issue or Problem Reporting
  2. Change Request or Approval Process
  3. Change Notice or Execution

Phase 1: Reporting & Logging Issues

  • Provide an efficient way for anyone in the organization to report and log issues.
  • Store issues in an Issue Queue that will resolved it in one of three ways:
    • Take no action
    • Put the issue on hold
    • Request a formal change

Phase 2: Formal Change Request

  • The Formal Change Request is the second stage of review that can be handled in one of three ways:
    • Rejection
    • Request more information
    • Approved for further action, either fast track or Full Formal Change
  • If the change is approved for further action, it typically is reviewed by a board that will do one of the following:
    • Reject the change request
    • Proceed to the change notice

Phase 3: The Change Notice

  • At this point the change request can no longer be rejected, it must be addressed and acted upon.
  • This phase can be defined as Static or Dynamic:
    • If it is a Static process, the same departments and teams will be notified and responsible for executing the change
    • If it is a Dynamic, a new process is developed specifically for each change
  • When the plan is fully defined, typically a change implementation board review occurs.

Formal Change Control processes are simple, the added control of these processes alone could save your organization money in the long run. The possibility of increased productivity and reduced quality issues will far outweigh the initial time and resources required to get a change control process implemented.

We like to keep it simple, not scary here at EAC. For a full overview of how to design an effective change control process, download our eBook, Designing an Effective Change Control Process.

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