Change is essential for a company's success. However, not having a structured process in place to identify and evaluate changes before they occur can:
- place personnel in harm's way;
- reduce productivity;
- jeopardize compliance; and
- introduce operational inconsistencies.
This article reviews what a management of change process involves and the best practices that should be implemented to ensure MOC programs effectively manage risk.
What is Management of Change (MOC)?
Management of Change is a structured process for proactively identifying, assessing, and managing workplace changes. Examples of changes that should be included in an MOC program include changes to::
- Equipment (e.g., increasing the size of a process pump)
- Maintenance and Testing Procedures (e.g., changing the frequency or method of relief device testing and maintenance)
- Operating Procedures (e.g., changing a process or the rate at which a process occurs)
- Chemicals (e.g., introducing a new raw material to a process or changing its concentration)
- Key Personnel (e.g., changing the Safety Manager or Plant Manager)
Take notice of temporary changes as they have the potential to introduce the same level of risk, if not more, as permanent changes.
What Are Some Key Management of Change (MOC) Best Practices?
To increase the success of an MOC Process, you should ensure your program:
- Has an active and influential executive-level champion
- Involves front-line employees and middle managers
- Is seamlessly integrated with your company's project management process
- Includes a readily accessible, simple and efficient method for submitting change requests
- Results in quick and efficient reviews to prevent holding up projects
- Involves the correct people and departments based on the type of proposed change
- Uses a consistent and structured review process, which at minimum evaluates the:
- Technical basis for proposed changes
- Impact of the change on employee safety and health
- Impact of the change on environmental emissions, permits and plans
- Need for modifications to procedures (e.g. operating, maintenance, and safety)
- Need for additional safety devices and/or emergency equipment
- Need for updating of facility plans and diagrams
- Employee and contractor training that will be required
- Time needed to implement the change and appropriate stage gates (e.g. permit issuance, pre-startup reviews, etc.)
What Are Signs My MOC Process Needs Some Work?
Your MOC Process likely needs to be reviewed and updated if:
- Change requests are not being submitted per your company's policy
- It takes a long time to review and close change requests
- Reviews are inconsistent or are missing required approvals
- Changes are being implemented before approvals are granted
- Documentation of how each change was reviewed and approved is difficult to locate
How Can Management of Change Software Help?
Manually circulating paper forms or emailing spreadsheets is tedious and time consuming. This results in a lack of employee engagement and reviewer procrastination. On the other hand, MOC Software makes submitting changes quick and efficient and automatically routes change requests to the appropriate people based on the type and location of the proposed change. MOC Software also automatically informs personnel of issues and tracks them to completion to ensure changes are not implemented before issues are managed.
If you are implementing an MOC Process (or want take your existing process to the next level), please contact us for a free demonstration of the Ecesis MOC Software Solution.