What is MOC (Management of Change)?

Management of change (MOC) is a defined process that organizations establish and follow to ensure the health, safety, and reduction of risk during periods of change. MOC systems and policies are essential for companies that undergo significant updates to their facilities, personnel, equipment, or operations. 

Why is MOC important?

A thoughtful approach to MOC ensures that large-scale organizational change doesn’t negatively affect your operation. It helps companies easily identify and minimize hazards associated with changes they make. 

These changes could include: 

  • Changes to raw materials used in their facilities
  • Changes to the products they manufacture
  • Changes to equipment
  • Changes in company technology
  • Changes to standard operating procedures
  • Any changes that can potentially impact the environment and employee health 

Management of change, when done successfully, has proven so beneficial that regulatory agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) include it as part of their oversight activities. Having a solid process in place will help organizations subject to regulation remain compliant.  

The purpose of management of change

A management of change system encourages organizations to take a step back and seriously consider the changes they implement. It requires companies to document and communicate each major change and to ensure they meet regulatory and safety standards. 

Let’s take a look at some of the main reasons companies need to conduct MOC.

Safety and risk management

First and foremost, it is essential to ensure that changes to operations don’t negatively impact carefully crafted employee safety protocols or the safety of the work environment. Companies that deal with hazardous materials and equipment must pay special attention to these concerns. 

Preventing unplanned equipment downtime

Making facility, equipment, and personnel changes can impact production. MOC forces organizations to evaluate the potential that their changes may cause downtime or equipment failure. This allows them to identify those points of potential failure so that change can be planned in a way that minimizes them. 

Maintaining compliance with regulations

Companies operating in highly regulated industries must complete MOC in order to comply with health, safety, and environmental laws. 

Benefits of establishing a management of change process

An MOC program isn’t only about following compliance and ensuring safety. It offers several other benefits to industrial organizations. 

Improved operational efficiency

A safe production environment allows employees and equipment to perform better and well-planned and communicated changes are adopted more effectively and rapidly. By adhering to your organization or industry’s MOC processes, the changes and improvements your company makes are more likely to work.

Optimizing asset performance

An MOC doesn’t just force organizations to look at the safety implications of a change. It encourages them to consider all potential impacts of that change, including how it will affect asset performance. 

Taking this step allows maintenance teams to identify how and if an asset will be negatively or positively impacted by that change. Then, your asset management practices can be adjusted to mitigate any potential risks. 

More accurate records

The management of change process requires extensive documentation, which results in better record-keeping overall. Recording when changes were made, how they were evaluated, and the steps your organization took to implement them effectively reduces many forms of risk.

Improved communication

One of the main components of any MOC process involves how changes are communicated. The heightened levels of communication always result in a more informed and engaged workforce and ensure that all interested parties – such as staff, stakeholders, and overseeing agencies – are in the loop.

How to conduct a management of change process

Conducting a management of change process is critical to ensure a safe approach to operational changes within your organization. While the process can vary between companies, these general steps can give you an idea of what to expect. 

Step 1: Identify the changes

First, the organization must determine the proposed changes and how they will impact the business. This involves understanding the nature and scope of the changes—whether they relate to procedures, equipment, personnel, or another aspect of your company’s operations. Additional information your organization should identify is the timeline for the proposed change and any required authorization. 

Step 2: Risk assessment

After the changes are identified, the company must conduct a comprehensive risk assessment. It should evaluate the potential impact of the changes on the safety, health, environmental, and operational aspects of the organization. 

By systematically assessing risks associated with proposed changes, organizations can prioritize mitigation efforts and allocate resources effectively.

Step 3: Determine control of the risks 

It isn’t always possible to prevent every risk. So, once the risks are identified, a critical step is to determine how to control or mitigate them. This could involve either measures to reduce the severity of the outcome of a risk, or actions that could reduce the likelihood of a risk becoming an issue.  

Control measures may include implementing new safety or LOTO protocols, providing additional employee training, or modifying equipment and procedures to enhance safety. 

Step 4: Determine necessary adjustments to proposed changes

During this step, organizations must evaluate the proposed change based on the risk assessment and determine which adjustments are necessary. Which risks are outweighed by the rewards, and which require an adjustment to your proposed changes?

Step 5: Conduct pre-startup safety review (PSSR)

Before the changes are implemented, conduct a pre-startup safety review (PSSR) to make sure all necessary precautions have been taken and that your proposed plan with all its adjustments, in its final form, can be implemented safely. 

The PSSR usually involves systematically reviewing all aspects of the changes to ensure they meet safety, health, and environmental regulations. If any gaps or deficiencies arise during this phase, they should be addressed before proceeding.

Step 6: Implement the change

Implement your proposed change by officially making your new protocol, policy, procedure, or other type of change official and clearly documenting its effective date. Clear communication is essential. 

Various departments and teams within the organization will be involved in rolling out the changes, so open communication on the status and success of implementation is important. 

Step 7: Train employees

Train employees on any new procedures, protocols, or equipment. This may involve conducting group sessions, workshops, or other educational activities to familiarize employees with the changes and ensure they can perform their roles safely and effectively.

Step 8: Continually monitor

It’s important to continually monitor any newly implemented changes to ensure they are being fully executed and achieve the desired results. Conduct regular audits, inspections, or assessments to evaluate ongoing performance and identify areas where the process of its implementation could be improved. 

By maintaining a proactive approach to monitoring, organizations can ensure changes remain effective over time and adapt as needed to evolving conditions or requirements.

MOC best practices

When going through the management of change process, these best practices can help organizations reap the full benefits of the MOC. 

Conduct thorough risk assessments and impact analyses

The most important part of the MOC process is identifying the potential risks a change will present. A thorough risk assessment and impact analysis will help guide the rest of the process. The more thorough this step in the MOC process is, the better prepared you’ll be to meet any issues that arise. 

Provide regular training 

One training session to put a new change in place is almost never enough. An effective MOC process should be followed up by regular training sessions, communications, and feedback to ensure that procedure changes are well ingrained into workers’ day-to-day activities. 

This may require quarterly reviews of standard procedures to ensure adherence to changes rather than reverting to the old way of doing things. 

Continuously evaluate and improve MOC system

Each organization or industry has its own management of change system or process. It’s smart to evaluate the MOC process itself to determine improvements that must be made. 

An improved MOC system will make the entire process much smoother and easier to work with when a change is needed. 

Use technology to implement

Organizations should take full advantage of technology resources when implementing MOC. Software like a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) can streamline the MOC process, sending notifications to employees and tracking acknowledgments of new procedures, using data to assist in the risk assessment process, creating task checklists and templates, and more. 

Integrate an MOC with your current maintenance strategy

Every organization should integrate a management of change process into their existing maintenance management strategies. An MOC complements maintenance strategies by adding an extra layer of oversight and risk management to maintenance activities. 

This process is particularly advantageous when organizations are implementing a new maintenance strategy, like predictive or preventive maintenance

By integrating MOC into your maintenance strategy, you can ensure any changes made to assets, personnel, or procedures are carefully evaluated for their impact on safety, reliability, and efficiency.

If your organization is looking for a digital solution to implement MOC or enhance your maintenance strategies, look no further than Limble CMMS. Get started today with a free trial, or contact our team to learn more about how a CMMS can benefit your company. 

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