Change control vs. change management

Change control ensures that the team has a clear understanding of the scope of change

Dan Sahar
May 20, 2024
min read

Change Control vs. Change Management: The Complete Guide

The need for organizational change can be triggered by a number of factors, including: new technologies, globalization, increased competition, and new management practices. Regardless of the trigger, the importance of organizational change is that it can lead to improvements in efficiency and effectiveness, and foster a better work environment for employees.

However, since organizational changes have the potential to upend traditional processes throughout the ranks, it is vital that organizations consult proven processes and best practices around managing changes within their organizations. Processes like change control and change management.

The following sections will focus on how organizational change is executed, what factors influence processes, and how organizations can utilize these processes and techniques.

What is change control?

Change control is a process that ensures that any changes to a product or service are made in an orderly and controlled way and with minimal disruption to the organization. It also helps the team identify, prioritize, plan, and document any changes.

Change control ensures that the team has a clear understanding of the scope of change, what needs to be done and how it will be done. So they understand the risks associated with the change, as well as its impacts on other parts of the project or service.

The change control process includes:

- Identifying the need for change

- Planning for change

- Monitoring and evaluating the change

- Closing out the change

The process of change control starts with a change request, which is then reviewed by the appropriate stakeholders. The change is then approved or rejected based on the review. If it is approved, the change will be implemented and monitored to ensure that it's successful. If it is rejected, it will be put on hold until more information can be gathered about its impact.

What is change management?

Change management is a process of managing change in a way that ensures that the change is effective and successful. It's a process that needs to be followed by all organizations to ensure that they are able to manage changes in a way that benefits them.  

Be clear that change management is not just about making sure people are on board with the changes, but also about making sure they understand why it's happening and how it will affect them. One of the most important parts of change management is to make sure that employees are aware of the changes that are being made and why they are happening. 

The change management process can be broken down into four steps:

1) Identifying and assessing risks

2) Developing mitigation plans

3) Communicating with stakeholders

4) Implementing change

This four step procedure that helps managers and employees understand, plan, and manage change. Ultimately helping the organization adapt to change more easily.

Which one is better– change control or change management?

The two processes are often confused with each other because they both involve change. However, change management is the process of managing change within an organization. It is a coordinated, proactive approach to managing change that involves many people and groups in the organization. 

Change control, on the other hand, is a method of controlling changes to a project or product by examining the risks and benefits of each proposed change. It’s more about making sure that any changes made to a system are done in accordance with the set policies and procedures. 

So in reality, neither is better. You’re likely going to use them both as you manage change.

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