Ecolab wins change management bet

The long-term utilization of change management techniques has led to a significant return on investment for Ecolab (, a global manufacturer of commercial cleaning and sanitizing products based in St. Paul, Minn.

The company adopted Serena Change Man ZMF from Serena Software (, San Mateo, Calif., about eight years ago to manage changes in its mainframe environment. Ecolab estimated that the implementation of Change Man ZMF would save approximately 11,300 hours between application development and production operations annually. About four years ago, Ecolab adopted Serena Change Man DS to manage changes in its client/server environment.

''Without adequate change management tools and application development processes in place, there's no way you can effectively manage and control changes in your environment, absolutely no way,'' noted Chuck Mason, senior operations analyst. He added that having good control policies and application development procedures in place, along with the tools, ''is a necessity for running an operation that can deliver quality products on time and in budget.''

Gaining the confidence of developers at the onset of the project proved to be Ecolab's most significant challenge. ''It's a culture change,'' Mason explained. Having convinced developers that Serena's tools would actually make their jobs easier, Ecolab now provides those developers with the tools and capabilities they need to manage their application development.

''The development groups have total confidence that their change management tools will migrate their changes throughout the entire application life cycle, knowing that components and changes are always tracked and monitored,'' Mason said. ''An enterprise change management solution is our ultimate goal for managing change. We are always looking for opportunities to achieve this goal.''

Boston-based Yankee Group ( reports that a particular advanced enterprise change management solution is now helping numerous organizations realize a 28% reduction in application downtime, a 23% improvement in time to market and an 18% reduction in hard development costs.

About the Author

Lana Gates is a freelance writer based in Mesa, Arizona. She can be reached via e-mail at


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