Maintenance and reliability professionals know that a successful maintenance program relies on change management. Planned changes to the equipment and process must be well-organized and executed to achieve the desired results. It’s especially important in industries that are heavily regulated, like oil and gas. The challenge for many organizations, however, lies in implementing effective management of change (MOC) processes. This article will discuss what MOC is, why it’s important, and how to get started with your MOC program.
What is Management of Change?
MOC is a set of best practices you can use to deal with company-wide changes in an organized manner, particularly when the changes potentially expose or create hazards. Although industrial facilities typically use management of change, it is advised that all companies have a MOC process. Its goal, which pertains to all industries, is to maintain a safe workplace even when implementing new equipment or processes. Therefore, a management of change policy can aid in ensuring a safe and orderly transition to new procedures.
What Types of Changes Require MOC?
While it is beneficial to apply the organized approach of MOC to any change in your organization, these are some common ones:
- Replacing or Adding Equipment
- Making Updates to Old Equipment
- Training New Employees
- Establishing New Facilities
- Changing Maintenance Protocols
- Modifying Operating Procedures
- Temporary Changes in the Workplace
Why is Management of Change Important?
Managing organizational change comes with many worries, but one of the main ones is the safety of the workforce. Studies show that there are several times more safety concerns during periods of change than there are during regular production operations. The health and the lives of the employees can be put in jeopardy by changes to essential procedures, even temporary ones. Companies that work with hazardous chemicals or energy have an even higher level of risk. In fact, risk assessment is mandatory for businesses that work with particular substances.
Before implementing change, it is essential to recognize and define it and any hazards it may create. Even if it’s optional for your business, you can and should create a management of change plan. For those that must perform MOC, two government entities handle the management of change compliance. While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) typically oversees sectors where there is a risk of chemical accidents, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) manages workplace safety compliance. Businesses that are subject to Process Safety Management (PSM) laws are required to apply MOC.
Benefits of MOC
Implementing and adapting to change can be difficult for any business. According to McKinsey research, 70% of intricate, extensive organizational change efforts fall short of their intended outcomes. In addition, it can be difficult to guarantee that all employees are equally informed about necessary modifications when there are numerous people, facilities, machines, and environmental conditions to navigate. This is where management of change can be useful. A successful MOC:
- Decreases Risk
- Increases Productivity
- Supports More Streamlined Transitions
- Reduces Obstacles to Change Initiatives
- Enhances Safety Outcomes
- Aids in Maintaining Accurate Records
- Increases Organizational Awareness
- Centralizes Change Data and Information
- Promotes Communication and Cooperation
- Helps Achieve Operational Excellence
- Creates a Paper Trail for Audits
- Records the amount of work required, the speed at which changes are performed, and the danger level encountered to reference for future changes.
How to Implement Management of Change
When a business uses the management of change method, eight actions must be taken. The method may differ slightly depending on the industry, but the fundamental idea remains the same.
- Define Proposed Changes
- Perform a Risk Assessment
- Evaluate Control Level of Risks and Hazards
- Analyze Bringing About Change
- If it is Safe, Implement Change
- Perform a Pre-Startup Safety Review (PSSR)
- Educate or Train Employees Regarding the Change
- Track and Monitor Change for Ongoing Improvements
Making Management of Change Easier
The management of change contains numerous moving components, even for small businesses. Additionally, it may be difficult to remember all of the different rules, regulations, actions, and participants. The procedure will go more smoothly with the aid of a digital solution, such as a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS). A CMMS like Redlist helps you plan, automate, simplify, and track your management of change initiatives. Using technology can aid in making MOC less difficult. Furthermore, a digital CMMS provides everyone participating in the process access to accurate and current information.