Change & Configuration Management
Managing Impacts, Risks & Emotions
Change is ever-present, often quoted as "the only constant". The emergence of our global economy is a great example, and it is a constant driver of countless associated changes, affecting markets, resources, and cultures. In an increasingly competitve business environment, change (continuous improvement) is a economic neccessity, and a valuable differentiator in the market-place. If in your corporate culture you are not constantly evaluating how to do all things better-faster-cheaper every day, you can be sure your competitor is. Thus, if you are not changing, you are standing still, and the world is moving forward ahead of you.
In the development of products, costs of changes impact the supply chain along with alpha- and beta-phase inventories, tools in-process and in the field, as well as technical performance. The risks & benefits and costs must be carefully weighed as inputs to the change timing (cut-in) strategies and tactics.
Configuration management may be driven by feature compatibility, customer requirements, or government regulations regarding technology. Validated rules and maps embedded in ERP systems greatly enhance configuration reliability, and must be assessed with every change implementation plan.
In organizations, where employees are affected by changes, emotions (fear of unknowns) can impede implementation of positive changes if personnel are not coached for success:
This transparent approach provides a 'destination' or goal to pursue, and buoys fears with focus and future opportunities in the organization. Training that will enhance the skill sets of individuals and improve their ability to contribute to teams and programs is a great selling point. Everyone wants to feel valued and know they are needed. Helping personnel at all levels in a project or program understand the importance of their roles fortifies the team spirit, encourages participation, feedback to leadership, and fosters the desired continuous improvement culture.