Dealing with changes, Being a Proactive Project Manager …
As a professional project manager, you should make only the changes that are right for your project, dealing with changes is one of the most challenging aspects I face myself in managing projects , some stakeholders will keep asking for changes and such stakeholders should be managed closely to prevent unnecessary changes on the project .
First of all any change arise in the project shall be documented and submitted as a change request, it might be initiated verbally but it shall be in written format , the Change requests are the primary output of the Monitor and control project work process , It is the result of comparing planned work to actual results , it might be issued to expand , adjust or reduce the project scope , Change requests may include :
A. Corrective Action: An activity that realigns the performance of project work to the project management plan.
B. Preventive Action: An activity that ensures the future performance of the project work is aligned with the project management plan .
C. Defect Repair : An activity that modifies a non-conforming product or product component .
Note : Three upper definitions are as per the PMBOK 6th edition
Perform integrated change control is the process where all change requests are reviewed , in this process you will decide whether to make a change or not , the decision of making the change request or not will be the responsibility of the CCB – Change Control Board – at least a big part of this responsibility refers to the CCB depending on the project manager authority , this board is established to review and analyze submitted change requests in accordance to the project change management plan , they will approved or reject the changes and results shall be documented in the change log .
The CCB shall review each change request?
As I just mentioned it depends on the project manager authority , but for changes which doesn’t affect the project management plan , performance baselines , project charter , contracts or statement of work , the organization change management policy might allow the project manager to decide .
As a project manager, What’s the exact procedure to follow when dealing with changes?
1. Be proactive! work on preventing the root causes of the change , I saw a lot of project managers who just focus on managing project changes missing the bigger picture of preventing unnecessary ones .
2. Look for changes early and identify the need of them ? changes usually come from measuring actual work and comparing it to performance baselines , changes can come from different stakeholders , Sponsor , customer , project team or even the project manager , a proactive project manager shall keep looking for changes as discovering them early will reduce their impact .
3. Evaluate the Impact of the Change , the impact of the change should be evaluated first within it’s knowledge area , if it’s a quality change or cost change , then it should be assessed on all aspects of the project .
4. Document a formal change request , the process of making the change should follow the change management plan of your project , the step you need to do now is to create and document a formal change request .
5. Go through the Integrated Change Control Process!
A. Assess the change , here is an important tip , while you are assessing the change , note that any change that already had a reserve created for it would be accounted for in the project management plan as part of risk management efforts , and should be handed as part of direct and manage project work rather than integrated change control .
B. Look for options , the options you will look for includes increase the opportunities and decrease threats , compress the schedule through crashing or fast tracking , change how the work will be performed , adjust quality or cut scope so that the effect of the change will be minimized .
C. The change is approved or rejected , sometimes the project manager might be able to approved many changes in accordance to the authority level he have , but those that affect the project management plan , performance baselines , project charter … etc would likely need to go to the change control board , approved changes will be implemented in the direct and manage project work .
D. Update the status of the change in the change log , this will help the project team and all relevant stakeholders to know the status of the change , even if the change was not approved the reasons of why it was rejected shall be documented .
E. Adjust the project management plan , project documents , and performance baselines as necessary , this means that re-planning need to be done to incorporate the impact impacts of the approved changes into the new version of the documents and plan before the team start executing the change .
6. Manage Stakeholders expectations by communicating the change to stakeholders affected by the change .
7. Manage the project to the revised project management plan and project documents .
Approved change requests may require new cost and duration estimates for project activities, modifications to the project management plan , additional analysis of project risks , customer or sponsor approval may be required for certain changes requests after the CCB approval .