Requirements Change Management: Definition, Process | Complete Guide
In the ever-changing world of technology, it’s important to have a process in place for managing changes – especially Requirements Change Management. Without a process, changes can happen haphazardly and can lead to inconsistency and instability in your product. In this article, we will define Requirements Change Management and discuss the process involved in making changes to your product. We’ll also provide a complete guide on how to implement change management in your organization. Stay ahead of the curve by implementing a change management process today!
What is Change Management?
Change management is a concept that can literally be applied anywhere and everywhere. It is the application of a structured and defined process and tools in order to lead the people’s side of the change in the right and desired direction. In other words, it is a system engineering process where we establish and maintain consistency of the product’s performance, functionality, and all the physical attributes in accordance with the requirements, design, and operational data throughout the lifecycle.
Requirements change management concerns the procedures, processes, and standards that are used while managing the changes in the requirements. Requirements are ever-changing items. We must be prepared for that to happen during the development cycle. It is said that changing requirements are as certain as death and taxes. That means there will definitely be some changes in the requirements every now and then as it is not possible to specify the exact necessities at the beginning itself.
3 Levels of Change Management:
There are three levels of change management:
- Initiative-based or Organization
Change is applied and received differently at different levels.
At the individual level, it requires an understanding of how people experience and take the applied change and what they would need to implement it successfully. It is about helping the people of the organization implement change in their daily routines. For this, one must understand how to help them make the transition.
At the Initiative-based or organizational level, it involves identifying the people or group of people who need change as a result of the project and all the ways they need to change. It is about creating a customized plan that strongly impacts the employees in order to enhance awareness, leadership, coaching, and training they would require for change successfully.
At the enterprise level, the change is implemented on an organizational level. This is basically a core competency that provides competitive distinguishment. It also enables one to effectively adapt to the ever-changing environment. A change at this level means the organizations are more agile and they are quick enough to respond to the market changes, embrace strategic initiatives, and also adopt new technologies. For this, an enterprise has to work hard and build some strength and capability. It is also important to include all team members in the change process in order to gain their acceptance and thus be successful.
But why do the requirements change?
There can be numerous reasons for the requirements to change. They include:
- Errors – One of the major reasons why the requirements change is that either they are not properly explained or they are ignored. This results in defective and incorrect requirements and incomplete data. Also, requirements are gathered from various sources. Many stakeholders are involved. Hence, it is very common for conflicts and inconsistencies to arise.
- Changing Needs – Needs change from time to time. This is a major possibility during the project lifecycle. For example, earlier the project’s original need was to provide a menu of all the items available, but during the development phase, the stakeholders realized that it is important to add the cost as well as the elements included in each item. Hence, the requirements change.
- Changing Priorities – Priorities change every now and then. It is highly possible that priorities shift and we have to adapt to the new priorities. For example, from the list of requirements, the top 5 were supposed to be delivered on the first delivery, but now it has been realized that the next top 3 requirements are to be included in the delivery too. Hence, the changed priorities.
- Immature Technology – It is possible that the developers base their potential to meet the stakeholder’s requirements on technology that is not mature enough to be used yet. This develops a risk to the project as well as the potential for change in case the technology fails to deliver the desirables.
- Cost – Cost plays an important role here. It is highly possible that the originally predicted cost of the project may rise or fall. This also leads to changes in the requirements.
How to implement Requirements Change Management?
Requirements Change Management is the process of identifying, analyzing, tracking, and approving changes to the requirements. The main aim of this process is to minimize the impact of change on the project schedule and costs. It also helps in maintaining the quality of deliverables.
Step 1 – The first step is to identify the need for a change. This can be done by analyzing the current situation and understanding the need for change.
Step 2 – The next step is to track the changes. This includes tracking the progress of the project and monitoring the changes that have been made.
Step 3 – After that, the changes are analyzed and approved by the stakeholders.
Step 4 – Finally, the change is implemented in the project.
It is important to note that Requirements Change Management is a continuous process. It should be carried out throughout the project lifecycle.
Change management is a process that is used to ensure that changes are made in a controlled and safe manner. There are three levels of change management, each with its own set of requirements. The lower two levels are usually used for smaller changes while the top level is used for larger changes. Change management can be useful in many ways, including ensuring that all stakeholders are aware of the change, assessing the risks associated with the change, and developing a plan to implement the change. Many organizations find it helpful to use a tool such as Visure Requirements ALM Platform to manage their change processes. Request a free 30-day trial today to see how you can improve your organization’s ability to handle changes effectively.