It’s a rather simple concept to grasp but often a very difficult thing to implement, unless……you have a simple process to follow and both you and the client agree on the formalities.
The Change Management Process establishes an orderly and effective procedure for tracking the submission, coordination, review, evaluation and approval for release of all changes to the project’s baselines.
One of the most difficult questions to answer is “What is a change?” To help protect teams and move past this question and onto the change controls which tell us what to do, contracts and agreements should be clear and detailed in what is in scope. Included in these contracts should be detailed mock-ups, workflows or other supporting documentation that reinforces the scope and makes the deliverables clear. These documents are the foundation, truth and facts which help answer the “What is a change?”, question.
The establishment of a Change Control Board is a first critical step in setting the stage for change control success.
A Change Control Board (CCB) is a formally constituted group of stakeholders responsible for approving or rejecting change to the project baselines. This group may meet on a predefined schedule or on an as-needed basis.
With one simple tool, The Project Change Request Form, you can control and manage change. The PCR in its many variations contain the critical information that stakeholders need to approve or not approve a change request. They are as follows:
- Priority of the Change (L,M,H)
- Description of the Change
- Business Requirement
- Functional Requirement
- Proposed Technical Solution
- Impact Analysis
There are 6 simple steps to follow when using the Project Change Request.
Generate the Change Request
- Generate the Change Request by filling out the basic information like the date, name of person requesting the change, etc.
Evaluate the Change Request
- Before the form goes to the Change Control Board, the evaluation of the changes impact on scope, risk, schedule, budget and resources in vital. This information along with the proposed solution gives the Change Control Board everything they need to approve or reject the change request.
Authorize the Change Request
- The Change Control Board receives, reviews and then authorizes the change. During this step the Change Control Board may call a meeting with the project team and the business to further evaluate and explore the change before approving. If you use a comprehensive Change Request Form these extra meetings can often be avoided and expedited approval of the change can occur.
Implement the Change Request
- Once the change is approved, the project team makes all necessary adjustments to the schedule and resources and implements the change.
and 6. Log and Report Updated Status
- Along the way, the change requests status should be noted and reported out to members of the project team and all stakeholders to keep them informed.
Change in a project is in inevitable. With a clearly defined written and agreed upon change control process, you can protect the scope, budget, schedule and most importantly your sanity.