Deviations versus Change Requests

by Jon M Quigley and Kim L. Robertson

Change Management Recall

In our previous blog, we discussed the differences of waivers, deviations and engineering change requests in the context of Configuration Management.  We were in the midst of a project that had just released requirements to a supplier to build prototype parts.  The prototypes will take 8-10 weeks to manufacture. During fabrication the customer is modifying the requirements.

Deviation as a Decided Course of Action

The customer decides  to use deviations to address changes that happen while a prototype part is being developed. The deviation does not originate from the supplier. The change to requirements is permanent.  The manufactured prototype may or may not have all of the deviations.  Additionally, there is no mechanism for approval of the change or formally updating specifications and drawings. This violates change management one of the key principles of configuration management.

The customer should have issued a directed change to the supplier with a request for proposal and negotiated the cost and scope impact after the fact rather than using a deviation.  This change mechanism will also ensure the required design documentation are also updated.

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