Define Change Management 2345

  • Our new-to-SOX IT liaison is getting tripped up in the SOX Department definition of Change Management and her definition of Change Management.
    How do your groups define Change Management? More broadly to include top-to-bottom, acquisition-to-singular changes? Or more narrowly to include singular changes to existing systems?
    Also, do you have any tips for finding a source for a universal definition of Change Management?

  • Hi and welcome to the forums. Yes, this is a tough term to define as often change management, change control, source mangement, etc. all get used synonymously and out of context.
    My own definition is that it is the formal control process for making business or technology changes (including the need to communicate, document, and execute it appropriately).
    We’ve had lots of discussions on this and you might try the forum SEARCH facility.
    Wikipedia is one of my favorite resources for definitions and a generic search is also included … Please copy each to your browser, as direct links aren’t permitted in forums.
    http-and-#58;// management
    Finally, this forum thread might be valuable to research as COBIT is often used by external SOX auditors to measure IT related SOX 404 control approaches
    Free COBIT 4.x PDF copy by registering with ISACA

  • Hi Harry and thank you for your reply. I’ve read a lot of your postings since finding the web site.
    Some follow up questions:
    Do I correctly interpret your definition of change management to be a narrower focus that would not include, for example, the initiation\request to initiate\charter process for implementing an entirely new application?
    If I’m interpreting your definition correctly, how does one label the bigger picture view of someone wants a new application, they ask for leadership approval to purchase the application, a project is created… …the project is completed. What do we call that?
    I attempted to search for discussions on defining change management and didn’t find one that quite answered my question. Can you give me further guidance for finding them?
    Thank you.

  • An implementation of a new application can fall under SDLC - systems development life cycle. In our organization we have change management (day to day type of changes); a more intense change management process for higher dollar/time/risk changes and then SDLC.

  • Change Management’ (CM) has multiple meanings and my comments were broad in context. For example, you’ll see CM used appropriately and in some cases a process might be called CM but not fall technically within the framework. For example, I think of Change Control as the release controls of promoting systems from test to production, (and have seen that often called CM).
    You can also have a CM process for the business, as well as technology changes. For example, you can employ CM to a project, where any revisions must be formally communicated to stakedholders (VIPs) under a prescribed approach. CM would formally communicate the ‘when, how, where, and why’ a particular change took place.
    To me, a CM system implies that you have communication processes formalized with a pre-existing structure to help make changes occur more smoothly , (and with appropriate autonomy levels if approvals are needed). One of the most important factors is CM is that it communicates with those who need to know or take action. It also provides documentation and audit trails. Without a formal CM process, there can be more chaos and missed folks in the communications process.
    I liked David’s response above 🙂 CM is more widely used and important for day-to-day activity controls and notifications. Even with SDLC, you can apply and tailor CM concepts for a developmental project. For example, below is a Project Management Methodology developed for a former company and CM standards are helpful throughout the SDLC process:
    PART TWO – Project Planning Process

    1. Determine Project Scope (what you will and will not do)
    2. Develop Communication Plan (standards on status reports, issue escalation, meetings, etc)
    3. Define Change Management Standards (this provides the framework for how changes will be negotiated and approved throughout the project life cycle)

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