Engineering change management: The process
Engineering change management refers to the change in the functionality of a product by means of careful request, evaluation, implementation and control when production of the product has already started. The change can be done totally or can affect only a small part of the product such as its component, assembly or material.
Changes form part of most products nowadays especially the ones that consist of rapidly evolving technologies. They can also provide an interesting opportunity for the organization to generate benefits and to innovate. There are 6 phases that makes up a generic engineering change management process:
Engineering change request
The first thing that will take place is that a formal request for engineering change must be made to help clarify the problem clearly.
Alternative solutions to the requested change
Alternatives to the ECM are evaluated and the best one is normally taken.
Cost benefits analysis of the alternatives
All the alternatives should be evaluated in terms of cost and benefits in relation with the other department affected by the change.
The top management needs to give approval to the favored solution.
Implementing the change
Once the approval from top management is obtained the change order needs to be circulated throughout the whole organization. The changes can be made either straight away or in some cases in small phase.
The review stage
The change process is monitored to make sure that everything went out as planned and all the necessary information is documented for use in the future.
The steps are the most generic ones but can vary in some situations.
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