Regardless of what type of software project your company is working on, you will find that change is an inevitable part of it. However, this should not be viewed as a bad thing; in fact, change can make the program more efficient, effective and/or more affordable than it would have been otherwise. However, in order to ensure that change is carried out in the right way, change management will be needed.
The starting point of change management is determining what should change and what should remain the same. After this has been determined, change management will help a company coordinate and orchestrate the needed changes in the least disruptive manner possible. Following are some more key points that are important to bear in mind when orchestrating software changes.
List the Requirements
It is important for a software testing team to list the requirements that the program must live up to. As any good software developer knows, it is not good enough to simply create a program that users will find adequate and useful. The program must meet industry guidelines if it is to be truly effective.
Create a Change Advisory Board
Create a competent, engaging change advisory board. Such a board should be in charge of approving or denying change-related requests. The number of people on such a board will depend on the nature of the program; even so, make sure the individuals on this board have experience with the industry that your new program is meant to serve and are familiar with regulations relating to the type of software that is being made.
Set up the Proper Environments
Software program changes must be done in the right order: development, testing and then production. Ensure that the changes take place in an organized manner so that there are no mistakes and/or omissions. The proper environment will also speed up production of the program, saving both time and money.
Implement an Automated Workflow Approval Process
Each step of production should be approved by the appropriate body before a new step is initiated. For instance, the initial change request should be approved by a supervisor even before it is submitted to the Change Advisory Board. If the board approves the request, it should then be passed on to the supervisor in charge of code movement into test environment. A clear approval process ensures that change requests are handled in a timely, efficient manner.
While change management can seem complicated at times, it is a vital part of software development. The time and hard work that is invested in proper management will be repaid many times over with the creation of a fully effective, industry compliant software program that effectively does the job it was meant to do.