Change Requests in Project Management

Perpetuum Mobile
  • Date Published
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  • Reading Time 4-Minute Read

The purpose of the Change Management Process is to control and manage change requests to ensure that the project remains on schedule and provides the agreed deliverables.

The purpose of the Change Management Process is to control and manage change requests to ensure that the project remains on schedule, within budget and provides the agreed deliverables. The change request may be initiated by the client at any time when a need for change is identified.

Since any modification could affect the time, scope and/or costs of the project, a change request must be revisited by the tenderer’s Project Manager. After revisiting change request, the project manager gives an evaluation of request and present possible outcomes. Only when a change request is approved by both parties, and that means when mutual consent to a change of total cost, functionality or deadlines is achieved, it can be forwarded to the development team.

The Change Management Procedure Consists of 6 Possible Steps:

1. 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 be stored in used project management tool and sent to tenderer’s project manager, either in the form of an e-mail or in writing.

2. Investigate Change Requirements

The project manager, or the responsible person, will analyze the circumstances surrounding the request with a person who submitted a Change Request, and, if necessary, with other project team members. The investigation of change requirements aims to assess the impact of the execution and non-fulfillment of changes in the objectives, scope, and costs of the project.

3. Solution for Change Request

After revisiting the request and investigating the impact of the change the project manager will undertake one of the following actions 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.

 4. Solution Agreement

Within a reasonable deadline (usually five days), the client must respond to the assessment of additional costs or by accepting or withdrawing an application or with a proposal for adaptation of some other project requirements to ensure the overall scope, time-frame and cost of the project. Agreement to the proposed solution, 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.

5. Escalation of Change Requests

If an agreement cannot be reached at the level of the project manager of the tenderer and the client, the change request will escalate to the level of the project supervisory board.

6. Change Execution

When activities related to a change request are completed, the project manager 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 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 harm a project’s schedule and budget, as well as on the quality of work produced.