Abstract

The study presented in this paper compares requirement and manufacturing change management processes to determine if similar processes can be used for both types of changes. A literature review is used to identify prescribed process stages. Ten stages are identified for both requirements and manufacturing change management. A series of interviews are then conducted with three different population groups to determine the process stages actually used in the field. The resulting process models are compared with the process models from the literature. Further, a thematic analysis is performed on the interview findings. Ultimately, differences are found between the prescribed and practiced change management models for both types of changes. Formal documentation stages are more prevalent for the manufacturing domain, though documentation in practice is less than what is prescribed. This includes the issuance of change requests and change orders in manufacturing change management that are not present in requirement change management processes. Significant differences were also found between the two change types; namely, requirement changes deal with more abstract concepts and as such can afford more informal documentation, whereas manufacturing changes deal with existing artifacts and require solid documentation. Additional research thrusts are identified to help reconcile change management processes across the life cycle.

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