Project Change Control

Project Change Control

The lack of proper project change control is where many projects go off the rails.

The Importance of Change Management

Various colored toothed wheels meshed togetherThe lack of proper project change control is where many projects go off the rails. The reason for change can come from anywhere. There may be a change in legislation, a critical supplier may have gone into liquidation or there may have been an organizational restructure. Any of these may necessitate a change in the solution design, resourcing or scope.

Added to this is pressure on the project team to add features and enhancements not planned in the original project scope. Such demands and requests can come from sponsors, clients, end users and other stakeholders. This can quickly get out of hand where project team members are new to projects and find it hard to say “No” and where other team members are keen to add new wiz-bang features because of sheer delight. The accumulation of innumerable small changes that can eventually sink a project has come to be known as “scope creep”. Do any of your projects suffer from this affliction?

The Change Control Process

If proposed changes are left unmanaged, nothing short of chaos will ensue. The discipline of project change control involves identifying the proposed change, assessing its urgency and importance and its potential impact on the project.

Changes that impact the project’s scope, budget or completion date need to be presented to the sponsor or steering committee for approval. These kinds of changes necessitate changing the project’s baseline and some of the project’s key documentation. You should also start and maintain a project Change Control Register. The register is used to record project change requests and track their status as they progress through the review process.

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