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What is Change Management?

I am trying to understand how Change Management fits in the software development cycle.

Most of the material online is on Organizational Change Management. Are they the same thing?

Ram Dass
Wednesday, September 17, 2003

It's one of those things that varies from company to company.

The Change Management team at my wife's company is responsible for kicking off the builds for test and production environments, as well as doing the actual code promotion.

Brad Wilson (
Wednesday, September 17, 2003

I have experience of Change Management wrt IT systems. I worked at a big iron shop where 24x7 availability was a big issue, the mainframe had an uptime of over a year etc.

The Change Managers job was to police the changes, hardware or software, to be made to the production systems and ensure that the changes were properly documented. In all cases he insisted on roll-back procedures in case it went wrong. He himself was not an overly technical person, but he had final say over all changes that happened. He used to annoy a lot of people but the proff was in our reliability record, we were an IBM reference site.

The only exceptions to his rules were in OE's (operational emergencies) where getting things running again mattered more than procedures. Although they had to be written up afterwards, as to why, when, how and a long term solution if needed.

This may seem very beaurocratic to the Windows generation, but when you have a huge organisation (top 10 in the UK at the time) reliant on a centralised data processing facility, such things made a difference.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

In my organization, change management is there to ensure that no meaningful change can take place.

Rob VH
Wednesday, September 17, 2003

“In my organization, change management is there to ensure that no meaningful change can take place.”

Dilbert, is that you?

19th floor
Wednesday, September 17, 2003

It's my understanding that a change management system is essentially a way to keep a 'paper trail' of planned changes/outages, schedule changes, send them through the proper approval routing, etc.  Usually this is for auditing purposes.  I had to update/enhance (5 month project) such a beast for a Fortune 500 company in Lotus Notes/Domino.  The approval routing/workflow can get pretty hairy depending on how flexible the client expects it to be..

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Repeat after me: "Dilbert is JUST a comic strip, it is not reality."

Rob VH
Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Sorry, hit the #%!& enter key by mistake.

I was going to continue with an observation about how accurately that comic mirrors my workplace, but nevermind...

Rob VH
Wednesday, September 17, 2003

There are two separate concepts getting mixed up here.

Change management in the software field was traditionally called Configuration Management, grew out of big defence and aerospace projects, and was concerned with formally controlling changes to well-defined architectures for software. For example, changing the name of a variable might require a report from seven departments and five weeks.

Change management in the management sense came to prominence during the '90's and is usually a euphemism for sacking lots of people without them getting upset. It tends to be run by the big expensive consulting firms, and can cover lots of other factors, but basically it's about ensuring that people's natural responses to getting shafted are suppressed, covered up or marginalised.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

...has a document on CM.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Change Management is where software development meets day-to-day operations. As you might expect, the bigger the day-to-day operations - like enterpise systems for large companies - the bigger role Change Management plays. Check out the whitepapers about the Microsoft Operations Framework found at  It's pretty good material about the operational aspects of large installations and includes change management.

Jim S.
Sunday, September 21, 2003

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