Assessing Impact Analysis Practice to Improve Change Management Capability
Impact analysis (IA) methods and tools support designers in determining the consequences of design changes. As such, the risk of unanticipated propagation of changes, in which an initiating modification induces a set of additional, knock-on changes, can be managed through obtaining high-quality IA results that are complete, correct, and clear. Although a variety of IA techniques are proposed in academic publications and even implemented in commercial tools, the use of such IA may not be consistent in practice and can be influenced by the product development process. This paper reports on a method to systematically elicit and assess IA practice in systems and software engineering to identify trends and gaps in change management. Qualitative and quantitative results from the application of this method at an aerospace company are discussed, leading to the proposal of future work to support and extend the method.