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What is change management? How do we do it in software development? What are most popular or best methodologies for it.

Can anybody suggest good reading about it.

Thanks.

  • Please read the post regarding avoiding basic beginner questions. You could probably find this basic information by simply Googling "Change Management". – jmort253 Feb 12 '11 at 23:49
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    Does this mean its needs to be down voted if its a beginner question? – Kieran Andrews Feb 14 '11 at 1:30
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    Considering the people who have experience starting new Stack Exchange sites have made it perfectly clear that beginner questions can kill a private beta, then yes, I feel a down vote is appropriate to discourage these types of questions. All of us have committed in Area 51 to making this a success, and that means populating it with questions that aren't going to scare away professionals. Robert Cartaino seems to know what he's talking about, so we need to all help make sure these questions meet the criteria. – jmort253 Feb 14 '11 at 2:17
  • @jmort253: discouraging is very good! just delete their accounts :) surely nobody will mind it. no hard feelings. – Saar Feb 14 '11 at 17:37
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    @Saar - The point of the beta is to populate it with questions that will encourage professional project managers to participate. If that doesn't happen, this site won't make it past the beta. Don't you want it to be successful? After all, you DID commit to it. Plus, Robert Cartaino already announced that basic, beginner questions should be avoided, and I already shared that link with you. I hope you read it. Wait until the site passes this critical beta test and the site will survive, then ask all the beginner questions you want. :) – jmort253 Feb 17 '11 at 3:48
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Quoting from Wikipedia:

Change management is a structured approach to shifting/transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations from a current state to a desired future state.

In terms of software, it would be any change to the software. The change can be configuration, architecture, design, code etc.

A good explanation of "How do we do it in software development?" would be to read about ITIL's change management module. I would say that most changes and change management comes into picture when the software is deployed and in service and not during software development.

To start with best practices here are few points:

  1. Every change should be documented clearly for future reference.
  2. All changes start with a "Change Request" document. This document might be a request for new feature, or a change due to a found bug etc.
  3. Approach to handling the change should be also documented. We have a approach document that specify the PLAN for the change, its impact and how & what the solutions are.
  4. Timeline for the change. You need to specify how the change is going to be implemented. Will you have some development effort? down time on production server? etc.
  5. Have a change approval process that involves different stockholders of the software.

Well, these are just the basic practices that I think one must follow.

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Getting started at Wikipedia is always a good idea to get a general overview of any subject, but in a few words change management is the process through which you control changes to your project. It's main objective is to prevent continuous changes to the scope from turning your project into a never-ending death march.

I can't recommend a book specifically geared towards change management, but every good (in-depth) PM-book will put some thought to the subject.

  • Hmpf, Abdel beat me, and with a better answer :P – Jakob Buis Feb 12 '11 at 12:31

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