2.6 CHANGE MANAGEMENT


2.6 CHANGE MANAGEMENT

Changes in scope and in the implementation environment are inevitable in all projects. Change management is the process that is used in order to maintain a reasonable level for quality, cost, and schedule while delivering the desired product as close to the client's current expectations as possible. The trademark of a successful project is having a sophisticated change management process in place for this eventuality. Because project changes occur in a continuous and evolving form throughout the project, it is necessary to have proactive tools that identify trends, manage trade-offs, implement changes, and report the changes to anyone who might be impacted by them. The success and effectiveness of the change management system depend heavily on the sophistication of the progress monitoring system. Once the progress reports identify the significant variances, remedial actions can be formulated in a logical and efficient manner (Figure 2.11). Project information that would form the basis of a change management system includes a detailed description of client objectives, project requirements, quality expectations, resource constraints, funding structure, acceptance test details, administrative milestones, and the anticipated delivery date.

start figure
  • Monitor Progress

  • Identify Significant Variance in

    • Quality

    • Cost

    • Duration

  • Forecast Completion Values

  • Adjust Project Baseline

end figure

Figure 2.11: Change Management

The change management process is most effective when it is formalized and integrated with the enterprise project management policies and procedures. A formalized change management process will ensure that all project personnel, in all projects, follow a specific set of established procedures. A formal change management structure will have the added advantage of keeping all of the project stakeholders involved in, or at least informed of, the performance status of the project, thereby contributing to team spirit and good morale .

The objectives of the change management process are to track progress, compare the actual values to the planned values, analyze the impact of variances, and make adjustments in light of these variances. The progress data from the current project will be interpreted in light of current project specifications, historical data from previous projects, and benchmarking data from other projects within the same industry. These interpretations must be repeated or refreshed on a regular basis and particularly as part of making the inevitable changes throughout the life of the project. The impact of each change must be evaluated in terms of scope, cost, schedule, and resource demand. It bears repeating that the most effective change management system is one that assures consultation with the stakeholders in all triple-constraint trade-off decisions and one that facilitates a full and prompt dissemination of the subsequent disposition of each change request to project personnel. Additionally, determination of the variances between planned and actual values should not narrowly focus on the total project; rather, it should span all elements of the WBS. As such, the full suite of data for individual component resource expenditures, as well as the total project resource expenditure profile, should always be at the disposal of the project stakeholders.

The basic administrative structure of a typical change management system includes a change request form, a change log, a change management board, and a configuration management board. The change request form is the prescribed mechanism by which proposed changes are requested (Figure 2.12). The change request form will standardize the information that is submitted for invoking a change in the formal plan of the project. The change log is a historical account of the evolutionary history of scope, configuration, cost, and schedule (Figure 2.13). In turn , the change management log will provide a formalized mechanism for recording the change request stream of the project life cycle. The change management board and configuration management board review the changes from a project management viewpoint and from a technological standpoint, respectively (Figure 2.14). The change management board is usually composed of the project manager, the client liaison, technical personnel, and a contract officer if the project is an external project. The change management board is charged with defining and implementing the process for handling project change requests . Then, during the implementation phase, the board ensures compliance with these established processes and procedures. The configuration management board is normally composed of all the technical specialties represented in the project deliverable, the client representative, and the project management personnel. The configuration management board is charged with monitoring and documenting functional and physical characteristics of the components of the deliverable, as defined in the original project documents. The configuration management board is further charged with managing the changes to these characteristics, optimizing the effects of changes, and verifying conformance of the attributes of the deliverable with the client's evolving specifications. As an example, the change management board would review, in light of the client's current expectations, the impact that a change in a software module might have on the delivery date and on the total cost of the project. On the other hand, the configuration management board would be concerned with the impact of these changes on the input/output structure of other modules, the processing speed, maintenance complications, database duplication, and system complexity.

start figure
  • Name of Requester

  • Requester's Organization

  • Date of Request

  • Description

  • Priority

  • Current Status

  • Action Requested

  • Change Request Number

  • Impact/Benefit of Change

  • Approval

end figure

Figure 2.12: Typical Elements of Change Request Form
start figure
  • Name of Requester

  • Requester's Organization

  • Date of Request

  • Description

  • Current Status

  • Action Requested

  • Change Request Number

  • Impact/Benefit of Change

end figure

Figure 2.13: Typical Elements of Change Management Log
start figure
  • Change Management Board

    • Impact of Environment Change on Cost, Schedule, and Scope

  • Configuration Management Board

    • Impact of Design and Implementation Changes on Deliverable Components

end figure

Figure 2.14: Project Review Boards

Procedural consistency in data collection and reporting will encourage the review of changes by the stakeholders, thus preventing ad-hoc implementation of changes. The change authorization form is the prescribed and formal mechanism by which requested and approved changes are authorized for implementation (Figure 2.15). It is essential in the change management process that the team maintains the delicate balance between providing a timely and complete flow of information to those who need a lot of information while not overwhelming those who need not receive detailed information. As each report is designed, defined, and distributed, special attention must be paid to the rationale why a particular report is being sent to a particular individual. The expected response from the recipient of that report should also be defined in detail. Finally, the change management process need not be very elaborate if the project is very small or is of short duration and/or if it involves only three or four people, although the project change management system should be formalized nonetheless.

start figure
  • Change Number

  • Date

  • Impact

    • Scope

    • Schedule

    • Cost

  • Disposition

  • Customer Approval

  • Distribution List

end figure

Figure 2.15: Typical Elements of Change Order Authorization



Achieving Project Management Success Using Virtual Teams
Achieving Project Management Success Using Virtual Teams
ISBN: 1932159037
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 75

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