The Change Management Process

Change Management is a critical piece for corporations. Large corporations depend on it for anything that affects their production environment. But what is change management at all? Change Management is the process that kicks in when a change is made to the production environment of a business. For the matter of this article we will use an Information Technology related case to explain Change Management.

Company “A” uses change management to keep track of changes to its web servers. The change management process also allows to inform all internal business units and departments of the upcoming change to the web servers and what parts of the business are affected by this change. The change management process is started by the decision to update the web servers with a newer version of the web application. The website administrators, the QA department and the developers have finished the final testing of the new application update and now it is time to go live.

The website administrator starts the process by writing down the purpose of the change and what steps are required to complete the task. He also describes the impact to internal and external users and which departments of the business might be affected (example: external customer service). The description of these tasks for the update are usually high level and not too detailed. The reason for this is more to inform the business about the change and not to list an exact how to step by step guide.

Once the website administrator has finished the initial change management request form (electronic or hardcopy) it goes up one level to his direct manager and with his approval the change management request is being distributed among departmental points of contact that have been defined in an earlier process. The different departments and business groups review the change management request to evaluate the impact to the department or group. If no impact is visible or if a possible impact is already addressed and covered in the change request the department or group approves the change management. If a possible impact is not addressed the group or department denies approval and ask for more information or how the issue in question will be addressed. Approval for the change request goes to “pending”.

Once all issues are addressed and worked out and every necessary approval has been submitted the change management request awaits one more step – CTO (Chief Technology Officer) or CIO (Chief Information Officer) approval might be required. This process makes sure that a track record of changes that affect the business is created and that every group, every department and the business management are aware of what is going on.

Some critics see change management as a process that slows down the ability to act fast when needed. Others see it as assurance for continuing business success as department A might not realize how big the impact of a proposed change is to department B.

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The Future of Property Development – Effective Documentation of Risk Management & Change Management

Property Development is a multi dimensional business which can refer to renovation and re-lease of existing properties or the acquisition of properties or raw land for the purpose of improvement and/or resale to others.

With investment dollars getting tighter and tighter, lenders, stakeholders and investors are requiring more proof that the investment is sound. It is becoming increasingly important to perform good timely due diligence and document it well. Property investment deals are getting more competitive and the amount of money available to spend on due diligence is shrinking.

At first glance it seems like a bit of a catch 22. Actually this just means property developers are going to have to be smarter about how they go about their business. Having a comprehensive yet concise report that establishes project feasibility, identifies risk areas and delineates the plan for development will be just what is needed by lenders and requested by stakeholders.

This approach may have been the exception in the past, but it will be the standard in the future. Rest assured, if you do not have a compelling case of project feasibility, lenders and investors are going to have a difficult time providing the financial backing. And you had better be able to communicate it clearly and concisely.

This is no different than any other business venture. You have to have the backup packaged in a way that it can be referenced accordingly to verify feasibility.

Businesses are in a constant state of proceed at your own risk.

The building and construction industry has been charting a different course for a long time. It is broken and needs to be fixed. Restoring the construction industry is a monumental task but one thing is for sure. As we move forward property developers had better get organized. If you are a developer and you are looking for financial backing from an outside entity you better have a plan and your plan should be documented well. This should help demonstrate that you know what you are doing.

The process requires someone who is able to look at an apparently insurmountable mass of due diligence and pull the items apart and sequence them one at a time into a logical progression of smaller steps or milestones. It takes a conceptual thinker. It takes someone who does not get stifled by the magnitude of the task at hand. It takes someone who has a comprehension for the entire process including a reasonable understanding of the responsibilities of all parties and stakeholders. It takes a conceptual thinker.

New development projects need a risk management plan. Existing property modifications need a change management plan.

The key to effective risk management and change management is to have a system that has measurable results. Risk management or change management for any project can be tied into a milestone schedule to assess and measure risk as it applies to scope schedule and budget.

Risk management is essential to success in business. Most of us are very well equipped to manage risk and change effectively. Our everyday activities prepare us well. You can find numerous parallels in everyday life.

Make a plan for change management. Make a plan for risk management. You will be glad you did. Check out my upcoming articles where I will go into more detail on the primary levels of risk management and provide information on how to build a risk management plan and a change management plan to help you succeed in the new economy.

Please visit my website for more information regarding risk management planning and change management planning for business.

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