RequireMINT 6: Introduce a Change Management Repository and Process
Change management is the process by which changes are suggested, approved, and tracked. Change management requires a repository for change requests and a process for using that repository. The repository may be a single table database (e.g., Microsoft Access) or a spreadsheet (e.g., Microsoft Excel), and should have the following fields:
- Request ID: Identifier
- Date Opened: Request creation date
- Description: Explanation
- Severity: Impact of requested change
- Status: Request status (new, in-progress, closed, rejected, etc.)
- Date Closed: Request completion date
- Resolution: How the request was resolved
The process should describe who is allowed to enter change requests, how to assign severity levels, and who is responsible for approving the requests. In addition, criteria for approving requests should be described, along with how changes will be communicated throughout the project. A change management process allows for tracking and reduction of instability. Instability is tracked by totaling requirements changes, and is reduced by eliminating error-prone methods of requesting changes, such as word of mouth and email. Another advantage is that change management provides a historical explanation for each change, which reduces redundant questions about why a change was made and may also prevent a change from being improperly reversed.
It is easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of excuses for why something can't be done. In reality, many "impossible" things can be accomplished by making several small changes rather than one big one. By focusing less on instant perfection and more on steady improvement, the changes suggested can help any project alter its ill-fitting requirements process.
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