Change Requests in Project Management

The purpose of change management process is to manage change requests so that approved changes are controlled, ensuring the project remains on schedule, within budget and provides the agreed deliverables. The scope change request may be initiated by the Client at any time when a need for change is identified. It will affect time, scope and/or costs of the project. The agreement on change implies a total change in cost, functionality, and duration of the project. If the Client considers that the request for change requires modification of the agreed costs and the duration of the Project, he will inform the Tenderer. In that case, the Tenderer will offer the Client the acceptance of his proposal for a new agreement on the project.

The change management procedure consists of six possible steps:

  1. Launch change requests
  2. Investigating Change Requirements
  3. Solution for change request
  4. Starting and tracking the change
  5. Escape the change request
  6. Acceptance of delivery
  • Launch change requests

The person responsible for the area to which the request relates will write the Request for Change (which may also be in the form of an e-mail). The Request will either be stored in a Tool that the Client uses to register the Change Requests (either in electronic form or in writing) and sent to Tenderer’s project manager.

  • Research for change requests

The project manager or the responsible person, which may be part of the Client’s team, will analyze the circumstances surrounding the request with a person who submitted a Change Request, and, if necessary, with other project team members. The aim of the research is to assess the impact of the execution and non-fulfillment of changes in the objectives, scope, and costs of the project.

  • Solution for change request

The Project Manager will undertake one of the following actions based on the results of the research and with the knowledge of the Client:

  • Recommend not to take action
  • Determine that the change does not affect the reach, goals, deadlines, and costs of the project and confirm the implementation of the change
  • Assess the impact of change on other activities, deadlines, and costs and submit this estimate to the Project Manager on the Client’s part
  • Launch and track changes

Within reasonable deadline (usually five days), the Client must respond to the assessment of additional costs or by accepting or withdrawing an application or a proposal for adaptation of some other project requirements to ensure the overall scope, timeframe and cost of the project. Mutually agreeing to change the scope, by signing the Request for Change, also means mutual consent to change total cost, functionality or deadlines. When a Change Request is approved by both parties, it can be forwarded to the development team.

  • Demand for change requests

If an agreement cannot be reached at the level of Project Manager of the Tenderer and the Client, the Change Request will escalate to the level of the Project Supervisory Board.

  • Acceptance of delivery

When activities related to a Change Request are completed, the Project Manager of the Project submits that the Request for Change has been executed.

Goals and benefits

The goal of the Change Request process is to clearly define and document all changes to a project and to monitor the impact of the changes on the project’s budget and schedule. All Change Requests will be documented, reviewed, and evaluated to verify the change is beneficial to the project and approved by the Project Sponsor, Project Manager and/or the Client. Once approved, the additional work will be incorporated into the project plan.

The benefits, by adhering to this process, include:

  • The impact of proposed changes on project cost and schedule is clearly communicated to the Client, thus enabling them to make sound business decisions regarding the requests;
  • Any work not included in the original project plan is identified and documented, allowing Project Managers to monitor and control variance to the original project budget and schedule;
  • The business justification for adding or deleting work from a project is documented, as is the reason the Change Request may be denied;
  • Capturing and categorizing Change Requests builds a knowledge base of lessons learned and facilitates continuous process improvement;
  • Variance in project work effort is reduced and unapproved work is not being done;
  • Failure to monitor and manage Change Requests will typically have an adverse effect on a project’s schedule and budget, as well as on the quality of work produced.

References:

Berkeley. (2018). Berkeley Operational Excellence Program Office. Retrieved from Berkeley: http://vcaf.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/change_control_process_aa.pdf

IPMA. (2018). Individual Competence Baseline. International Project Management Association.

Feature image: Photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com

External links:

Company website: https://www.perpetuum.eu/

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