Change management

Change Management Engineer

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In the wild there are multiple types of moths that have evolved different patterns on their wings that give them a camouflage from predators so that they are not caught and the species can survive. The moths develop patterns that match their environment and will resemble the leaves, bark or flowers but sometimes their environment changes and the moths must evolve and change in order to survive. If the moths had change management engineers they may save many lives by implementing a change before their environment is modified and save numerous moth lives. In the automotive engineering world managing change is an ongoing process. In order for certain features and functionality to remain in the product you must adhere to a Change Management Process so that the change itself does not break something else within the product.

Educational requirements for change management engineers

Change management engineers work with the design engineers in all phases of the automotive development process and must have a thorough understanding of all areas of the automotive design. In order to be a successful change management engineer you must have a solid background in both electrical or mechanical design as well as have experiences in automotive design and applications. It is critical that the change management engineers understand how the components and design will function in the field. The basic requirements for a change management engineer job are a bachelor’s degree in an engineering field such as mechanical or electrical engineering field or a specialty degree in automotive engineering that focuses on the specific design requirements and applications that will be seen in the automotive field. Additionally, to be an effective change management engineer you will need additional experience in automotive design and applications.

The change management engineering job description

The change management engineering process begins when one of the engineers on the design team identifies an issue that must be addressed on the product design. This could include a product not meeting a design requirement or test failure in reliability testing but no matter what the issue a modification must be made to fix the issue. There could be an issue with the appearance of the product or a color may not match the requirements that were provided. No matter what the issue is a change must be made in the design in order to meet the product specifications, appearance requirements and functional requirements.

To begin the change process the change management engineer puts together a packet called an engineering change order (ECO) with all the documentation outlining the proposed change. This documentation includes the issue that was identified, testing results, implementation date, areas impacted and the proposed change with bill of material changes (BOM). The pack is then reviewed by a cross-functional team of engineers that represent all of the impacted areas to discuss the change and develop the engineering change request (ECR). One of the most important facets of the change management engineering position is to review the changes with all the impacted areas. This is where experience in the automotive design process is needed to ensure that the change is reviewed by all areas so that when the change is made it does not negatively impact another area of the design. The ECR is then reviewed and approved by all the impacted teams and a change notice is initiated to begin putting the change in place. Once the change has been implemented in the design the change control team will again review the change and its impact on the entire design. They document and track these key lessons learned to aid with future designs so that similar mistakes are not made or issues caused in the design process.

Change is a part of the automotive design process and the change management engineer has an important role in managing the design process to ensure that fixing one issue does not break another. When you choose the change management engineering position you are responsible for overseeing the entire change process and coordinating these activities within the design team.

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