Change Control Approach
A Change Control Approach is used as a guideline to identify how, and by whom, the project’s products will be controlled and protected during the project. This includes both change and issue management. This guideline document answers the questions:
- How and where the project’s products will be stored
- What storage and retrieval security will be put in place
- How the products and the various versions and variants of these will be identified
- How changes to products will be controlled
- Where responsibility for configuration management will lie.
Where does the information in the Change Control Approach come from?
First off all, this guideline should not be created for each project, in fact it should be provided to the project as a template and only need minor changes to adapt it to the specific project. According the PRINCE2 manual, the Change Control Approach is derived from the following (but in reality, this is not done):
- The customer’s quality expectations (important if a new external customer)
- The corporate configuration management system (e.g., any CMDB) and this may not be required for small projects
- Programme Quality Management Approach and information management strategy (if applicable)
- The user’s quality management system; one of these QMS’s has to have priority
- The supplier’s quality management system;
- Specific needs of the project’s product(s) and environment;
- Project management team structure (to identify those with configuration management responsibilities)
- Facilitated workshops (by PM) and informal discussions to discuss the above mentioned items
A Change Control Approach can take a number of formats, including: a stand-alone document or a section in the Project Initiation Document; Entry in a project management tool.
The following quality criteria should be observed:
- The issue management procedure is defined and understood.
- The change control procedure is defined and understood.
- Responsibilities are very clear and understood by both user and supplier especially for change control. In addition to that, resources are to administer the chosen method of configuration management.
- Scales used (for priority and severity) and clear and commonly used.
- Reporing requirements are well-defined (e.g., using issue report, when to report change requests).
- The chosen Change Control Approach is appropriate for the size and nature of the project.
- Resources are in place to administer the chosen method of configuration management.