Research – MOC Best Practices

Management of Change (MOC) Best Practices: Introduction

How do you go about determining best practices for a business process as complex as Management of Change?  Here are 5 techniques used in this quest:

1. Assess the State-of-the-Art: The current state of “what is everyone doing with MOC’s?” can be catalogued from several sources:

  • Compilation of MOC processes at the sites we’ve worked at (see previous list),
  • Compilation of MOC processes at sites who participated in the research for the textbook,
  • Review of software solutions for MOC, available as commercial-off-the-shelf offerings,
  • The OSHA website contains guidance documents,
  • Ideas from other fields. For instance the manufacturing field is rich with change and configuration management ideas.

2. Use Logic: Simple logical reasoning can be used to determine certain aspects of the MOC process. For instance, change initiation must occur before change close-out.

3. Satisfy constraints: There may be regulatory, legal, physical or other constraints governing MOC. Obviously OSHA requirements must be satisfied, so this imposes constraints on the design of the MOC process.

4. Optimize integer variables: There are many combinations of “who does what, when, in what order”. Trying these various options out in the real world is hopelessly impractical—each new process trial would require defining the process, writing procedures, training people, exercising it for, say, 100 MOC’s, and compiling the results. A much more effective method of comparing different business processes is to use simulation tools.

5. Optimize real variables: There are many real variable parameters in a business process. For instance, suppose a person who hasn’t approved an MOC packet is sent an electronic reminder after ‘x’ hours. What value should ‘x’ be? Again, it’s difficult to try this in the real world and gather enough data to be statistically valid. This is another technique best accomplished using simulation.

Conclusion: Based on the research to date, it appears that it is possible to identify and optimize the characteristics of an Management of Change best practice. Both cycle times and effort can be reduced, often dramatically.

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