Fundamentals for Managing Project Change

There are seven key management principles for effective project change control:

  • Plan for changes Change control does not mean prevent changes at all costs. Conversely, project changes should be expected, planned, and well managed. The two keys here are selecting the proper project approach (methodology) and setting up a project change control system (to be discussed next). For projects with an innovation focus or a volatile set of requirements, an iterative development-type approach that expects deliberate scope expansion or scope clarification should be utilized.
  • Set up change control system If your organization does not already have a defined procedure for project change control, then you need to set up a change control system for your project. We will discuss the details later in this chapter. The key benefits for establishing a formal change control system include the following:

    • Helps protect the integrity of the project performance baselines
    • Ensures the right people are involved in the decision-making process
    • Helps manage stakeholder expectations
    • Enhances the credibility and professionalism of the project manager
    • Avoids issues and confrontations when changes do occur
  • Educate stakeholders Whether you adopt an existing change control system or develop your own, you need to step through the change control process with your stakeholders. Do not assume that because the procedure is documented that individuals understand it or their roles and responsibilities within it.
  • Use the system This may seem obvious, but it is a common pitfall. Make sure to utilize the change control system that you have defined. If the project manager does not consistently follow the process, no one else will either.
  • Minimize scope changes This is the great balance of managing project changes. On the one hand, you plan for changes and set up a system to manage those changes when they do occur; on the other hand, you work diligently on influencing those factors that are responsible for project changes, especially scope changes, to minimize their occurrence. The keys here include

    • Keep the team focused on the project objectives, the big picture.
    • Listen carefully. You need to understand immediately when a critical gap is identified.
    • Limit, if not totally avoid, any unnecessary changes by either the customer or the team.
    • Educate stakeholders on the impact of their change request.
    • Encourage any scope change request that is not an absolute, must-have feature to be scheduled for a follow-up project (cycle, iteration, or phase).
  • Over-communicate For effective stakeholder management, make sure that all project changes are clearly communicated and understood by all key project stakeholders.
  • Be a watchdog As a project manager, you must be continuously alert and mindful to anything that could impact your critical success factors. In particular, you need to understand what can cause unplanned scope changes to occurand then work to prevent their occurrence.

By using a representative stakeholder group that understands the affected business processes to evaluate any proposed change request (commonly known as a Change Control Board), you force the importance of a possible change to be objectively determined and independently reviewed. This technique helps prevent the addition of changes that have marginal business value.

Part i. Project Management Jumpstart

Project Management Overview

The Project Manager

Essential Elements for any Successful Project

Part ii. Project Planning

Defining a Project

Planning a Project

Developing the Work Breakdown Structure

Estimating the Work

Developing the Project Schedule

Determining the Project Budget

Part iii. Project Control

Controlling a Project

Managing Project Changes

Managing Project Deliverables

Managing Project Issues

Managing Project Risks

Managing Project Quality

Part iv. Project Execution

Leading a Project

Managing Project Communications

Managing Expectations

Keys to Better Project Team Performance

Managing Differences

Managing Vendors

Ending a Project

Absolute Beginner[ap]s Guide to Project Management
Absolute Beginner[ap]s Guide to Project Management
ISBN: 078973821X
Year: 2006
Pages: 169 © 2008-2020.
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