Change Control : Benefits and Procedures

Benefits of Change Control
Benefits of Change Control
No project ever proceeds as per the originally envisaged plan. Changes to the project are beneficial and can be proposed either by the project team itself or by the project sponsor. Market demand, technological advancements or statutory requirements are some factors that necessitate change to the project deliverable. The project team should accept changes to project deliverables rather than confront it. Change Control System is a tool that equips a project team in managing with changes to project scope, schedule, budget, risk, quality requirements, and product characteristics efficiently and effectively.

The Change Control System:
The change control system is a documented procedure that deals with
(a) The process of identifying and recording the changes to project when and as they occur.
(b) The procedure for classifying the changes.
(c) Defining the approval criteria for requested changes.
(d) Procedures for reviewing and approving the requested changes.
(e) Constituting the group of stakeholders/project sponsors responsible for approving the requested changes.
(f) Procedure for releasing the approved changes and integrating the approved changes to the baseline project plan.
The change management system is based upon size and complexity of the project.

Attributes of A Change Control Procedure:
A documented change control procedure should exist prior to commencement of actual work on the project. A reference to change control system should be made in the project charter so that the project stakeholders are informed of the existing change control procedures. Following are the key attributes of a change control procedure

(a) The change control procedure should have a Change Request Form
(b) The authority of the group/competent person responsible for approving the change request should be well defined and documented
(c) Who can raise a change request should be clearly documented
(d) Impact of the suggested changes to scope, schedule, cost, quality, risk etc should be recorded and indicated in the change request
(e) Justification for the proposed change should be clearly mentioned in the change request
(f) All requested changes should be traceable to their respective work break down, resource break down, cost and risk breakdown components.
(g) Classification of change request based on its impact to scope, schedule, cost, risk and quality.
(h) Frequency of changes
(i) Change request-tracking mechanism (change control log)
(j) Integration of requested changes to approved project baseline
(k) Review mechanism
(l) Reporting of current status of requested changes
(m) All requested changes should bear a reference no for identification and traceability

The project team should record all requested changes in the change control log and the project manager should review the implementation, integration status of the requested changes during the project performance review meetings.

Benefits of Change Control:
A project without a documented change control procedure is likely to be plagued by schedule and cost overruns. Uncontrolled flow of changes to project also hampers the morale of the project team. Some benefits of the change control system are as follows.

(a) Changes control system reduces project creep. Project creep is defined as incremental changes to approved project scope that consume time and resources.
(b) Improves communication among project team members and between project team and project stakeholders
(c) Provides better control of the project activities to the project manager
(d) The project team can remain focused on meeting the various project milestones
(e) Change control log and change request form serve as a knowledge base for analysing the factors responsible for changes to the project. These factors can be considered while planning a similar project later.
(f) Helps in regulating the changes to the project
Change Control : Benefits and Procedures Change Control : Benefits and Procedures Reviewed by AtulGaurPM on August 05, 2011 Rating: 5


danielhirsch said...

very nice description provide in this blog for change control....
project management scheduling

Atul Gaur said...

Thanks Daniel

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