Home»Change Control vs. Change Management
Last Updated: May 27, 2021|5.2 min read|

In today’s world, the race for results and competitive advantage has forced everything to go through a state of continuous change. While change is not necessarily a bad thing, it does need to be executed in such a way that considers the impact on the company, the ongoing project needing change, the target s of change (people whom it impacts directly) and broader stakeholder groups.

That is where terms such as change control and change management come in. Now, one wonders, what is change management? What is change control? What is the difference between change management and change control?

The following article will serve as a guide into the world of project management for beginners.

What Is Change Control?

Change control is generally exercised in formal program and project management and refers to the steps that a project or change manager needs to go through to get a change in the project referred for approval, deferral, or rejection. This involves a number of steps, from notifying the members of the change team to implementing the change if it is approved.

In many projects now, it is common for a project manager to be paired with a change manager. As is common in these roles and disciplines, change control has a specific set of guidelines. While there are specific protocols for change control in common methodologies, ITIL and ITSM for example, following these general guidelines ensures that the change implemented is one that the key stakeholders agree on.

Steps of Change Control

  • File a change request.

This involves explaining what the change is, why it is needed, and why the project would benefit from implementing such a change. This document answers the question of who is responsible for change control while also notifying all the members of the team about the proposed change and its consequences.

  • Submitting the change request for review by the entire team.

This step is to make sure that the entire team is on board with the potential changes that the project may see. It may involve having a meeting with the entire team in which you present your reasons for filing the change request. The change may also be subject to a more thorough inspection so that the effects on the project’s time of completion, cost, workforce impact, and method may be reviewed.

  • Involve the end user or customer in the final decision.

This involves drafting a document for the end user or customer’s benefit that includes both the options that the team is providing to implement the proposed change. Make sure that the team includes their option of choice. This allows the customer to make an informed choice for the good of their project.

The project’s outline or plan is updated to include the change for approval by the sponsor or appropriate person as per a delegation of authority.

The official document that includes a detailed plan of the project and its steps is made to undergo alterations. This is so that the approved change is recorded for all team members to see.

And, what is Change “Management”?

Change management is a broader term than change control. While change control extends to only one project, change management involves the more full suite of tactical business approaches using tools, methods, methodologies and models that support transitioning of the organisation, people, technologies, systems and locations from a current state to a desired future state.

An article published in the Journal of Change Management in 2002 argues that “while change must be well managed, it also requires effective leadership to be successfully introduced and sustained.” This hints at the need for strong leadership to support in the dynamics of successful change implementation.

Steps of Change Management

  • Identify the need for the change and prepare a change plan.

Evaluate your department, company or partnership progress. Pinpoint the aspect that needs to undergo change and formulate a plan to implement the change.

  • Forward your plan for approval.

Present a strong business case to the stakeholders, notifying them of prospective changes that may be occurring, better still engaging impacted stakeholders in validation and refinement of the change plan.

  • Secure resources.

This involves drafting a document for the end user or customer’s benefit that includes both the options that the team is providing to implement the proposed change. Make sure that the team includes their option of choice. This allows the customer to make an informed choice for the good of their project.

  • Continuously communicate.

The official document that includes a detailed plan of the project and its steps is made to undergo alterations. This is so that the approved change is recorded for all team members to see.

  • Deal with resistance to the proposed change.

Everyone impacted by change has some level of resistance, regardless of if the change is perceived as positive or negative. Recognizing and proactively surfacing this allows project and change managers plus other leaders to facilitate a smoother transition.

Change Control vs. Change Management

Change management can be applied at numerous levels within the organisation, with the goal of the change in mind. Change control is the set of protocols for the implementation of a certain change in an ongoing project or program. Depending on the change scenario change control may or or may not occur. The common aspect of both these concepts is the need for approval from stakeholders, fellow team members, or board members. This goes to show that proper communication is one of the most important things to practise while leading business change. We discuss the difference between Change Management and Organizational and Enterprise Management in a separate blog.

About Us

One of the challenges of examining and leading change via a classical project or change management approach is that the largely linear nature of the disciplines can struggle to build agility into the project and also view the change at a micro level, not giving due consideration to the influences and impacts of the broader organisation. Understanding and managing change can be a difficult task – we are here to offer solutions to this challenge. At Unitive we are revolutionising the perception of change management and the leadership that program, project, and change managers can bring in driving more holistic change.

To learn more, contact us today!

Share This: