Engineering change management in a large steel manufacturing company
Engineering is inherently a process of constant change. The process of managing engineering changes is however, not a new topic and it is well defined and implemented in various other engineering management philosophies. Yet, on its own, it still remains a very challenging problem to organisations. This research examines the applicability of engineering change management to a large steel manufacturing company who identified the lack of an engineering change management system as the main contributing factor of numerous problems the company experienced over time. The study sets out to determine the high level understanding, the level- and sophistication of practical implementation and quality (identified problems with existing, or the lack of existing systems) of the engineering change management procedures. The study also compared how three surveyed companies relate in terms of their engineering change management systems and how the companies relate to the academic principals found in literature. Furthermore everyday user experience was measured to determine what aspects of engineering change is important and what needed improvement As part of the research, literature was reviewed and it was found that various authors, practitioners and academics agreed that engineering change management is increasingly important as an engineering management item. The literature revealed high-level requirements, models and constituents that are required for successful engineering change management. A questionnaire survey was developed as the experiment to measure how engineering change management was perceived practically. The aspects and phases listed from literature were examined and the perceptions, experience and feedback from the engineers that face engineering changes on a daily basis was determined. The general understanding and feeling towards their engineering change management was analysed and used to identify areas of common problems. The two other surveyed companies: a petrochemical company and a specialised product company provided means to determine if the process of engineering change management could be generalised and applied to the large steel manufacturing company. The analysis of the results of the survey provided valuable information that was used to conclude why some companies were able to achieve success with their engineering change management procedures and why others failed or struggled. The research effectively showed how engineering change management is perceived both negatively and positively in industry and identified common areas where improvement can be made. Furthermore, it can be concluded that engineering change management remained generic from a high-level and would thus be applicable to the large steel manufacturing company. The study also determined that engineering change management can effectively be used to mitigate and reduce the effects of uncontrolled changes that were listed by the large steel manufacturing company.
- Engineering 
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