Project Management Knowledge

Change Control System [Tool]

A change control system is any system that has been implemented that serves the essential purpose of assuring that the process of making changes is not done arbitrarily and without thought but rather is carefully considered and ultimately signed off on by a responsible party. The change control system typically encompasses not only the specific elements involved in ultimately making the decision to approve, reject, or postpone any changes, but also all of the processes that should be utilized in the process. For example, some of the elements involved in a properly functioning change control process can include, but are not necessarily limited to, previously documented Change Control Policy, an established Change Control Board, an established core of Change Management Tools, and in some cases a Quality Assurance team and an Asset Management Team. The Change Control System, in addition to providing as established policy for the routine process of making changes, should also have in place provisions for emergency changes which may arise.

This term is defined in the 3rd and the 4th edition of the PMBOK.


  1. 1) Could you put Change Control Tools in layman’s terms? It’s a t/t of PICC, but I don’t understand how it fits with PICC. 2) Is it the Change Management Plan that establishes the scope of the PICC (or is the scope always the same), and does the plan identify who will be on the Change Control Board and their level of authority? I seek insight on how to put the pieces (PICC and Change Management Plan) together. (Also, will I receive an email when an answer is posted? I’d welcome an alert.)

  2. A change control tool could be as simple as a Excel file that documents all changes. As such, it would be used as part of “Perform Integrated Change Control”. I will update the definition as I understand it is way to vague.

    What do you mean by t/t?

    The Change Management Plan would include details who would be on the change control board, in some cases depending on how big the change is. Bigger changes will require more authority on the board. IMHO, the CMP will also define the PICC.

    In the 6th edition of the PMBOK, change management tools are supposed to “support the activities of the CCB”.

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