1. Home
  2. Smartpedia
  3. Change Management

What is Change Management?

Smartpedia: Change Management defines a procedure for recording, evaluating, deciding, implementing and tracking changes.

Change management – conscious handling of changes

Change management – also known as change request management – defines a procedure for recording, evaluating, deciding, implementing and tracking changes. The central element in change management is the change request. It can be used to record in a structured manner all the information that is necessary for a subsequent approval process, including impact analysis, urgency, priority, etc.

Interpretations of change management

Change management is part of day-to-day business in many industries – e.g. the automotive industry, medical technology, aviation, mechanical engineering and plant construction. The term itself is used in various process models such as the V-Modell XT or HERMES, in maturity models such as CMMI or in ISO standards. Sometimes the respective intention varies – e.g. the PMBOK Guide speaks of “change control” – and PRINCE2 subsequently of the Change Authority. Depending on the use case, the object to which the change refers also varies. If a customer changes his mind and extends a requirement, the first step involves the requirement management. If this results in new test cases, risks, expenses and deadlines, test case management, risk management and project management would be involved. A seemingly small change can therefore have a big impact on an organization. Therefore, organizations often try to track the relationships between the corresponding artifacts in the development process – the so-called traceability.

Reasons for changes in requirements

There are a number of reasons that can lead to changes in requirements:

  • misunderstandings between or new requirements from involved partners (stakeholders, shareholders, principals and contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers etc.)
  • new findings based on analyses, pre-prototypes, prototypes or pilot projects
  • changes in the framework conditions due to new laws, standards or regulations
  • modification of the company orientation and thus other budgets, strategies, markets and target groups
  • clarification of unclear requirements

Of course, there are also many reasons that can lead to changes in the realisation of projects or the development of products:

  • altered availability of employees (illness, fluctuation, other priorities)
  • dependencies on other projects or suppliers
  • false assumptions or estimates that are too positive

The change management process

Change management is often used in a project context, but in general it can cover the entire lifecycle of a product. It can include the following steps:

  • recording changes with change requests
  • analysis of the effects in terms of scope, effort, costs, risks, etc.
  • optional: check whether there could be related changes elsewhere (in a software, in a process, etc.) in order to also address them if necessary.
  • decision of the Change Control Board or another instance in the company (PMO, development management, etc.) on the release of the change
  • prioritisation, planning and commissioning of the implementation as well as definition of responsibilities
  • implementation of the change
  • test, acceptance and release (or even rectification) of the implemented change – the so-called change evaluation
  • if applicable, documentation of the changes in the bugfixlog or changelog or in the user manual


Change Management Process

What does t2informatik do?

Was does t2informatik do? One click and you'll know it.


Here you will find additional information from our Smartpedia section:

Smartpedia: What types of traceability exist?

What types of traceability exist?

Smartpedia: What does a Change Control Board do?

What does a Change Control Board do?