The importance of a Change Log also known in other OCM languages as the “What’s Changing Log” or the “Change Impact Log” or even an “Impact Matrix” is essential to identifying what is changing and how to mitigate those changes. All of these names provide the same functionality but an extremely important functionality. I am currently on a project at a major Utility firm in the Southwest where the Change Log is the essential piece to the movement of the overall change effort. Our OCM resources attend Design sessions and capture items that impact the organization and its people. This can be ranging from business process changes at an activity level to high level changes such as “inputting a persons name” differently. All of these items must be captured so that as a change resource you do not miss the pieces that are needed for communications, training and role design.
Here’s my example of what I put into a change log. I typically use an excel spreadsheet that is several columns and is contributed by business analysts, subject matter experts and managed by the OCM team.
Here’s the template to the Change Log that I like to use. I’m not going to give you the actual document but I’ll explain the different columns I use and leave it up to you if you want to use those.
- ID# – Self explanatory. You need a unique ID for each impact otherwise it will become difficult to reference in other documents.
- Submitted By – If you have multiple people providing input into the change log, it is best to ensure we capture who logged the impact.
- Revised By – If someone updates the change impact in the log, they need to mark note of the date and the name. This can help you identify who changed what and when.
- Requirements Traceability – You should be able to tie change impacts back to a requirement. It’s not always the case where each impact can go back to a requirement but it definitely help so that the training team can trace the original material needed.
- Business Process Document – Similar reasoning as the Requirements Traceability number but also helps Training, Communications and Role Designers find the exact document they need quickly for the respective impact.
- Workshop Name – This helps you identify which “category” or “subject” the impact generated from. If you are attending design sessions, put the name of the design session in here.
- Impacted Stakeholder Groups – Use a multiple item selection drop down list. You’ll need some VB Script to do that. This helps you keep consistent names of the stakeholder groups and allows you to filter to see who is impacted by what.
- Description of the Impact – Write out what is changing from the way people do things today versus how they will do things tomorrow.
- OCM/Training Track – Write out what tracks this impact directly affects. Many of the impacts will need to be captured in the Training Curriculum so in that case it could affect the “Training Track”. Some might just need “Communications”.
- Readiness Questions – These are questions that can be asked the impacted stakeholder to see if they understand the changes. These questions can also be used in a readiness survey.
- Readiness Requirements – These are items which the impacted stakeholders must have completed, successfully demonstrated or participated. They answer the “Readiness Questions” column.
- Change Significance – High, Medium, Low
- Mitigation Plan – This is the plan of attack that will be used to mitigate the impact to the business. It requires you to answer who will take the plan forward, who needs to be involved in the awareness of the impact, what business units need to be involved, what will they be required to change and how will they change.
- Mitigation Plan Owner – There should be a single point of contact for each mitigation plan. This person can delegate and seek help from business units representatives. Many times, we like to use the Change Agent Network to help mitigate these items.
So where do you start? Open up excel, use the columns I wrote out above and tailor as you need. Hope this helps.