Change Management is not an easy process for many. Make the process too complex and it impedes user adoption. Missing critical steps with a simple process can lead to increased costs and reduced quality. Getting the right balance for an organization means understanding ones needs to comprehend and implement the change at the right level while delivering a Change Management process that will be adopted. Once that process is developed how do you measure for success? Paths to determine, deploy and measure a Change Management process with Windchill will be covered in this 3-part series.

“There is no engineering of successful systems without any changes; they are the rule and not the exception in product development.”

Ernst Fricke Professor, Technical University of Munich

There's really no way to deliver a successful product without managing change. Requirements change, needs change, product defects and faults are uncovered, and all of these changes must be dealt with across the enterprise.

Digital Engineering Transformation

Digital Engineering is a fully digital representation of the product is developed for connectivity and is used across all functions, enabling:

  • Connected manufacturing and service
  • Product performance
  • Automated simulation, artifact feedback and creation and collaboration traceability

Change Management Challenges and Impacts


  • Multiple change processes with no consistent application
  • Unable to determine impact of change across the product definition 

  • Hard to determine who is involved in a change 

  • Poor visibility into change status and implementation

Negative Consequences

  • Slow,inefficient change processes
  • Difficulty identifying and validating what data requires change
  • ERP/MES systems out-of-synch with engineering 

Metrics Impacted (Enterprise-wide)

  • Amount of time changes remain “open"
  • Multiple changes to fix issues
  • High scrap,reduced first pass yield and rework rates
Change Management Define In Post

Defining the Change Management Process

One of the first things to realize is that change process needs can vary based upon company size, product complexity and industry served:

  • High rigor – Medical Device and A&D (regulatory/government compliance)
  • High velocity – Consumer and High Tech (short product lifecycles, e.g. cell phones)

Change processes can scale based upon points in the development cycle:

  • Light weight process for prototyping (early stage development)
  • More complete for NPI and Sustaining changes
  • Emergency, Fast Track and Full Track

How much of the enterprise is involved? Take into consideration the various groups:

  • Engineering, Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Service
  • There's been a shift to a more enterprise/holistic process in recent years 

Needs for Technical and Business Justification (different needs for different business areas)

  • Change planning and execution
What information is needed to decide?


  • Who is Required? (to approve changes; can be a bottleneck if too many people are involved)
  • Who is Informed? (as an "FYI")

Informing Users in the Change Management Process

Whether you're implementing a new system or modifying a current system, no one really enjoys change. Common reactions from users may include (actual quotes!):

  • Just put it in an electronic tool – don’t change what we do today
  • We don’t need to talk to people – just get it implemented
  • This “tool” just slows me down
  • You can’t tell me what to do

There's also a variety of users to account for:

  • “Heavy users” who author changes and change content: Change Managers, Engineers, Designers, Tech Pubs, Program Managers
  • “Lighter users” who review and approve of change Managers, Supply Chain
  • “Consumers” who leverage deliverables from the Change process Shop floor, Supply Chain

Continue reading: Part 2 on Planning and Implementing the New Process and Part 3 on Measuring and Improving the Change Management Process.

This session was presented at LiveWorx 17 by Jeff Zemsky (, a Solutions Management Director at PTC. He is responsible for Change Management, Configuration Management and Platform Management within Windchill.

For more great content like this, register for LiveWorx 2018, June 17-20 in Boston!