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Change Control Process Template

Efficiently approve and manage change requests: keep track of system or product changes that impact your project

About the Change Control Process Template

By using this template, you can establish a uniformed structure for the authorization and handling of requests to modify a product or system. Your team will have the ability to accurately articulate the changes that are being requested in a centralized location and guarantee that each proposed alteration is evaluated before being executed.

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What is a change control process?

In the realm of project management, change control plays a vital role. At some point in the lifecycle of most projects, change becomes a possibility. Although it may be imperative to make changes, implementing them immediately can prove to be challenging.

A well-defined change control process outlines the necessary steps required to alter a project's scope. It documents and reviews any proposed changes, guaranteeing that they are thoroughly evaluated and improved before being put into action.

Why use the Change Control Process template?

Utilizing the Change Control Process Template can greatly benefit your team in the following ways:

Collaboratively determine changes

With the aid of this template, proposed changes can be accurately defined and evaluated before being implemented. This enables your team to veto any change that may be deemed unnecessary or disruptive. In the event that a change is approved, the change control process ensures that your resources are utilized efficiently to effectively implement the alteration.

Provide clarity

This process guarantees that all team members are well-informed and in agreement regarding any proposed or approved changes. By using the structure provided by this template, everyone can be more aligned and aware of any alterations to project deliverables. Updated deadlines are also accurately recorded, ensuring that everyone is on track. For optimal results, this template can be used in conjunction with the Project Scope Template.

Streamline processes and help to meet deadlines

This process eliminates any confusion around project deliverables, enabling your team to concentrate on executing approved changes rather than gathering information. As a result, productivity and efficiency are enhanced, leading to more efficient work processes and workflows.

However, without a change control process in place, there is a potential for reduced productivity. Time may be wasted trying to comprehend change requests instead of completing essential tasks. With limited resources available for crucial work, your team may miss vital deadlines.

When do you use a change control process?

The change control process is a valuable tool for virtually any project since very few project plans go exactly as planned in practice. Given the pace of change in today's world, it's highly likely that projects will require modifications during their lifespan. While changes may assist in aligning your project with business requirements, it's crucial to thoroughly assess and authorize each one.

At the outset of a project, establishing a change control process ensures that everyone knows what to do if adjustments are necessary. The change control process implemented in project management guarantees that every expected modification during a project is accurately defined, reviewed, and approved before implementation. This critical process helps prevent unnecessary changes that could disrupt services. Changes can be made smoothly, and resources can be used efficiently.

When a project is part of a larger program or portfolio, change control procedures become even more crucial. The impact of unmanaged change could extend far beyond the project itself and affect other teams or departments, making it imperative to have proper procedures in place to manage potential changes.

The 5 elements of a change control process

Leverage our Change Control Template by submitting requests to important stakeholders and have them approved and managed relating to changes to a system or product.

The 5 elements of a Change Control process

  1. Proposal - The proposal for a change must include a description of the change and the expected benefits. Most organizations allow employees or customers to submit change requests through a Change Request Form, which is then added to a Change Log for the project.
  2. Summary of impact - The project manager then considers the expected impact of the change. Will the change save money? Is the change too costly? How does the change impact your timeline? Is there a legal reason for the change? How does the change introduce new risk to the business?
  3. Decision - The project manager and an approved authority go over the change. They consider all information and either accept or reject the proposal. If they accept, they might request revisions to the change.
  4. Implementation - If the change is approved, it must be planned, scheduled, and executed.
  5. Review - After the change is implemented, most project managers sit down with stakeholders and hold a retrospective. Did the change go as planned? How could it have gone better?

Change control process example

Having a clear understanding of the five steps involved in a change control process, it's time to put them into practice. Let's take an example to understand this better.

The initial step in the change control process is submitting a request for change. This could entail making changes to the project scope by increasing the required number of features or reducing the project timeline to release a time-sensitive product ahead of competitors.

To effectively manage the change, the project team can implement these fundamental steps:

1. Log the change request in a change register or log template. The suggested changes are then recorded in the "Suggested Change" column of the Change Control Process Template.

2. Conduct an initial evaluation to determine the impact of the proposed change. This meeting will include input from all relevant parties, and suggested changes will be moved to the "In Review" column.

3. Perform a comprehensive evaluation of the potential impact of implementing this change, considering factors such as time, resources, costs, and risks.

4. The team collectively decides whether to accept or reject the suggested change and moves it accordingly into either "Accepted" or "Rejected" columns.

5. Discuss any necessary actions required for implementing this change and create a product roadmap for these actions. Upon implementation of these changes, they are moved to the "Integrated" column to signify completion.

The entries that you choose to include in your change control template may vary depending on the types of changes that you encounter frequently and how complex the projects are. While more complex projects spanning over several months may have numerous change requests, smaller one-off projects may not require a detailed change log template.

This simple approach can serve as an excellent starting point; however, additional fields can be added based on the complexity of your project. The Change Control Process Template is entirely customizable to accommodate your team's specific requirements.

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