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Performing Project Management Life Cycle

December 11 2006

Project Management Life Cycle Change Management

In this latest article, we’re discussed the topic of Change Management.

project management lifecycle is typically undertaken within changing business environments, so it’s inevitable that during the life of your project, there will be some element of change required. Whether a customer requests a change to their requirements, management request a change in priority or team members request a change in roles, you will need an effective Change Management Process to minimize the resulting impact on your project. So here, we have described:

How to implement a “Change Management Process”

Change Management is the process of monitoring and controlling changes within a project management life cycle. By managing the implementation of change, you can:

  • Reduce the impact of changes to the project
  • Identify new issues and risks as a result of changes raised
  • Ensure that changes do not affect the project’s ability to achieve its desired objectives
  • Control the cost of change within the project

Change Management is comprised of the following processes:

Step 1: Identify Changes

The first step in the change process is to identify the need for change. Any team member can suggest a change to the project, if he or she believes it is needed to keep the project producing deliverables to the customer’s specified requirements. After identifying a need for change, the team member records relevant information on a Change Request Form (commonly called a CRF), describing the change, and identifying drivers, benefits, costs and likely impact of the change on the project management life cycle. The CRF is forwarded to the Project Manager for review and approval.

Step 2: Review Changes

The Project Manager investigates the change to identify the reason for it and its impact. Then he or she decides whether it is critical to the successful delivery of the project. Changes which are not critical to project delivery should be avoided whenever possible to prevent “scope creep” (i.e. the gradual increase in scope throughout the Project Lifecycle).

If the change is deemed critical to success, the Project Manager either approves the request or seeks approval for the CRF raised. In some cases, the Project Manager has the direct authority to approval minor change requests; however, in most cases the Project Manager needs to seek CRF approval from the Project Board.

Step 3: Approve Changes

The Project Board reviews the details in the CRF to determine whether or not the change should be implemented. Based on the level of risk, impact, benefits and cost to the project, it may decide to decline, delay or approve the change request.

Step 4: Implement Changes

The Project Manager approves all changes, which are then are scheduled and implemented accordingly. After implementation, the Project Manager reviews the effects of the change on the project to ensure that it achieved the desired outcome, when the change is then closed in the Change Register.

Throughout the Change Management Process, the Project Manager can monitor and control changes to the project managemeny lifecycle by keeping this Change Register up-to-date.

There you have it. By completing these 4 steps, you can carefully monitor and control project changes, to increase your likelihood of success. If you would like to use a suite of templates to complete each of these activities quickly and efficiently, then read about the Change Management Kit. This kit includes all of the project management templates, forms and processes required to perform these steps efficiently. Learn more…