3. The ASPICE-Processes (VDA Scope)

3.15 SUP.10 – Change Request Management

What is the purpose?

Change Requests are identified, tracked, managed, and implemented in a structured way.

What is the benefit?

When used properly all changes to baselined items are managed and controlled. There is agreement on what to change and when it will be changed.

What is the content?

  • The activities, responsibilities, resources required, and an organization-specific lifecycle model for the states of a change are defined in the change management strategy and implemented in the project. (BP1)
  • Each change request is recorded (BP2) and its status updated as it moves through the lifecycle (BP3), see the picture as an example.
  • The effects of the changes are analyzed and prioritized for impact, benefit, resources, urgency, schedule and risks. Also the types of verification activities needed are defined. (BP4)
  • Each change request is approved before it is implemented. (BP5)
  • Changes are tracked until completion. Prior to completion, their correct and purposeful implementation is examined. The submitter is informed of the status regularly. (BP6, BP7)
  • Bidirectional traceability between the change request and all work products affected is established. (BP8)
Example of a status workflow of change request management
Example of a status workflow of change request management

Experiences, problems and hints

  • Change management is closely related to problem resolution management (SUP.9), since solving problems can cause changes. It also depends on the requirements processes (SYS.2 and SWE.1), since changes to requirements can cause changes elsewhere and vice versa.
  • Tool support in this process is indispensable to allow structured processing of changes. The tool needs to have a good integration into the engineering tool suite to allow seamless implementation of traceability (BP8).
  • The interface between customer and the subcontractor regarding problem management tools and procedures should be defined (typically in the strategy).
  • Projects should have clear definition of change request approval, to prevent work proceeding on unapproved changes.
  • Similarly, there should be an explicit and conscious approval in cases like this: although a customer change request has not been supported with a commercial order, but the team decides to proceed with development at their risk, but to the likely advantage of all parties.

Automotive SPICE text of Change Request Management (SUP.10)

The purpose of the Change Request Management Process is to ensure that change requests are managed, tracked and implemented.

BP1: Develop a change request management strategy. Develop a change request management strategy, including change request activities, a status model for the change requests, analysis criteria, and responsibilities for performing these activities. Interfaces to affected parties are defined and maintained.

NOTE 1: A status model for change requests may contain: open, under investigation, approved for implementation, allocated, implemented, fixed, closed, etc.

 NOTE 2: Typical analysis criteria are: resource requirements, scheduling issues, risks, benefits, etc.

 NOTE 3: Change request activities ensure that change requests are systematically identified, described, recorded, analyzed, implemented, and managed.

 NOTE 4: The change request management strategy may cover different proceedings across the product life cycle, e.g. during prototype construction and series development.

 BP2: Identify and record the change requests. Each change request is uniquely identified, described, and recorded according to the strategy, including the initiator and reason of the change request.

BP3: Record the status of change requests. A status according to the status model is assigned to each change request to facilitate tracking.

BP4: Analyze and assess change requests. Change requests are analyzed according to the strategy including their dependencies to affected work products and other change requests. Assess the impact of the change requests and establish criteria for confirming implementation.

BP5: Approve change requests before implementation. Change requests are prioritized based on analysis results and availability of resources before implementation and approved according to the strategy.

NOTE 5: A Change Control Board (CCB) is a common mechanism used to approve change requests.

 NOTE 6: Prioritization of change requests may be done by allocation to releases.

BP6: Review the implementation of change requests. The implementation of change requests is reviewed before closure to ensure that their criteria for confirming implementation are satisfied, and that all relevant processes have been applied.

BP7: Track change requests to closure. Change requests are tracked until closure. Feedback to the initiator is provided.

BP8: Establish bidirectional traceability. Establish bidirectional traceability between change requests and work products affected by the change requests. In case that the change request is initiated by a problem, establish bidirectional traceability between change requests and the corresponding problem reports.

NOTE 7: Bidirectional traceability supports consistency, completeness and impact analysis.

Output Work Products

Change management plan, Change request, Change control record, Work product

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