Change requests are a natural part of the project management process. They can occur for a multitude of reasons, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the project manager did a poor job planning originally. In the Perform Integrated Change Control process, change requests are analyzed and submitted for review. The Change Control process is critical for the success of change management in any project.
In this blog, we will explore the Perform Integrated Change Control process and how this impacts project management. Whether you’re interested in improving your project management craft, or simply preparing for the PMP exam, keep reading.
First and foremost, we will start with an example. When planning a project, project constraints must be evaluated. This way, there are no surprises when impacts affect the final outcome of a project. Let’s pretend for a moment that you are an app developer. Assume that your op holds users’ emails, first names, and phone numbers. A change request asks to also include the last name of users. If other parts of the software rely on the first name only, they might be negatively affected. The Change Control process helps to evaluate the pros and cons of every change.
Implementing Integrated Change Control
When analyzing the positive and negative implications of a change, it is important to understand a few other aspects of project management. The project management plan and scope must be completed, in order to analyze activities and tasks included in a project. The scope will help you as a project manager evaluate the impact a change will have on the final outcome or even what is even considered a change to the project.
Perform Integrated Change Controls
- The changes are accepted/rejected/handled in this process
- A change in one of the constraint should be evaluated for impacts on all of the other constraints
- In order to evaluate the impacts of a change, it is necessary to have a realistic project management plan, and a complete project scope and product.
- Generally, the project manager should prevent the root cause of the need for changes
- It is expected that companies have established procedures for managing and controlling changes
It’s no secret that change requests can cause extra work for the project manager and the team as a whole. This is why they need to be managed carefully and a plan needs to be in place to keep everyone on the same page.
It is important for the project managers to establish procedures in order to properly manage control requests. Each change request should be evaluated and prioritized to see if it is worth implementing. Project managers should be exemplary at evaluating changes and establishing steps for approving the change.
If changes start to occur too frequently within a project, it will be nearly impossible to complete the work on time. Too many changes can signify that the project manager did not do enough planning during the original scope stage. Or, it can show that the clients were not accurately involved during the preliminary stages. It is important for all clients to be notified of changes and recommendations to adjust the original plan, in order to ensure satisfaction upon completion. Change to scope and timelines is acceptable, as long as the impact has been assessed and then approved by the required project stakeholders.
As the project manager, you must be able to:
- Work to finalize final requirements as soon as possible. Requirements will become the foundations for project scope and help to lead and direct your project management team. So, it is no surprise that if you do not gather accurate requirements at the beginning, this will cause trouble later down the road.
- Fully understand risk management. The main cause of variances in a project will be Rex. It is best for risks to be identified during the planning process, so you can come up with an accurate approach to address each risk. This will result in fewer variances in the final project.
- If there are unapproved changes in a project, it will be impossible to coordinate the work.
- A project manager should be able to work to obtain final requirements, spend enough time and risk management to identify the risks, and come up with time and cost reserves. Contingency can be used to mitigate change requests with potential impact, to some degree.
- Project managers must have a process in place in order to appropriately handle changes. Changes are a natural part of the project management process, it is all about how to appropriately submit and analyze these requests. Remember, documentation is key!
Which Processes Should Be Followed in Perform Integrated Change Control?
As you manage, coordinate, and implement changes, be sure to follow these four processes in order to successfully arrive at your desired outcome.
Perform Integrated Change Control Process #1: Project manager must have a process and templates in place for creating change requests
Be sure to properly communicate with your client and project management team, so that everybody understands the guidelines for submitting a change request. All information should be communicated accurately so that the project team can easily make the appropriate changes, even if they are already halfway through the project.
Perform Integrated Change Control Process #2: Project manager should make sure to have clear roles and responsibilities for approving changes
Remember, all changes must be evaluated, they can be declined if you so choose! Be sure to converse with stakeholders to properly approach the approval of different changes. Roles must be accurately defined in order to manage changes and a smooth and systematic process.
Project managers should make sure to:
- Have a process in place to control changes
- Follow the process to control changes
- Have a process and templates in place for creating change requests
- Have clear roles and responsibilities for approving change requests
- Reevaluate the business case if the number of changes becomes excessive
- Consider terminating a project that has excessive changes and starting a new project with a more complete set of requirements
- Allow only approved changes to be added to the project baselines
Perform Integrated Change Control Process #3: Project must initiate the re-evaluation of the business case if the number of changes becomes excessive.
It is more common for change requests to occur if the analysis and requirements at the original scope stage were not planned accordingly. Key business needs must be at the forefront of every project. If many change requests occur, the business needs should always be put first.
Once all business needs have been evaluated for, you can contemplate terminating any project that has too many changes required. Too many changes will cause any project team to lose track of the project itself. So, terminating the project might be the best option in some cases.
Perform Integrated Change Control Process #4: Project manager must allow only approved changes to be added to the project baselines.
Be prepared for project boards to reject change requests. It is the responsibility of the project management team to only implement changes that have been approved.
We hope this article has helped you better understand the Perform Integrated Change Control process in project management. To learn more about this process, or to further prepare for your PMP exam, check out the rest of our articles!