4 steps to successful change management in software development projects

change management

Changes can be challenging. But when it comes to software development projects, they are also inevitable. Change comes as you respond to the ever-changing IT environment and are crucial if you want to deliver suitable software solutions. 

In this article, we will look into the change management process in software development projects. We will also determine how to plan it well.

What is change management in software development projects?

Change management in software development projects is the process of identifying, preparing and supporting the implementation of software changes. It is applied throughout the whole software development process. New requirements and the need for changes may appear suddenly and can shift several times. If you don’t manage them well, your project may be at risk of failing.

There are several reasons why you may need to introduce a change when developing a software project. Some of them include:

1. Changes in client’s requirements during the project, which may occur because:

  • the business environment has changed since the start of the project,
  • the client came up with a new business idea that needs different solutions;

2. Gaps in the analysis of processes that are being implemented;

3. Errors in descriptions or poor understanding of client’s requirements;

4. Unsatisfactory results of interim tests carried out when implementing the project.

What are the 4 steps of successful change management in software development projects?

Each software development project is defined by three dimensions: scope, time and budget. Most project changes affect some or all of these values. Also, every change poses a certain risk to the implementation of the software project you are developing. You can avoid or minimize risk but sometimes you just have to accept it. The key is to be aware of the full implications of each change for the software project you are working on. 

To deal with change management in the best possible way, stick to a consistent change management plan:

Change management plan

1.  Identify the change

Identify the type of change. Describe it using a set of features such as name, type, scope of change and project identifier. It will make the change easier to understand to all those involved in your project. 

2.  Assess the impact

Assess the risk the change poses and the impact it will have on the software, the team working on it, and those who will be using it. Evaluate the technical aspects of the change, its potential side effects, and overall impact on other parts of the system. Take into account any changes to the budget of the project, deadline, and the resources (both human and IT) needed to introduce the change.

3.  Decide on introducing the change

Decide on introducing the change or obtain approval to do it. It is crucially important to know who will make the decision and how the change will be introduced. You must discuss this process at the very beginning of the project so you know how to handle requests for change when they do arise. When making the decision, make sure your software development team is on board and informed about every stage of the process.

4.  Plan the introduction of the change

Modify the original project plan if needed, including the impact of each proposed change on the software and any components which may need to be created or deleted when implementing the change. Include information on any new deadlines or backlog that the whole organisation may face when the change is introduced. Also, think about other challenges the change may bring, such as modification of work content for all employees.

Final thoughts on change management process

Changes are a part of every project. Before starting a new software development project, think about your change management strategy. Plan the steps you will take to manage the changes when they occur. Preparation is always the key to success.

If you are looking for partners that could help you manage changes, check out our offer. At Eversoft, we provide the best outsourcing solutions to help you with all stages of your software development projects, including change management. Visit our website for more details.

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