Managing Project Changes

Mike Donoghue is a member of a multinational information technology corporation where he collaborates on the communications guidelines and customer relationship strategies affecting the interactions with internal and external clients. He has analyzed, defined, designed and overseen processes for various engagements including product usability and customer satisfaction, best practice enterprise standardization, relationship/branding structures, and distribution effectiveness and direction. He has also established corporate library solutions to provide frameworks for sales, marketing, training, and support divisions.

Once a project is completed, it seems like not much time passes before a change request comes knocking at your door. If you have a strong project management office and managers that don’t give in to every little suggestion, then you probably don’t succumb to scope creep. That’s great for your project team, but it may mean that there are several ready-made change requests just raring to go. (What’s that saying…when one door closes, another door opens?)

There will always be instances in a project where something gets missed, a new feature is identified or some kind of specialization/customization needs to occur. When a successful PMO gets involved though, there is an opportunity where a change-control process can take charge of requests so that they can become well thought out and negotiated.

A PMO with a formal change control board (or even some kind of recognized affiliation of management and expertise individuals) can help review change requests to determine the resources necessary—and work out the basic details around scheduling (as well as estimating) the work needed.

In some organizations, the change-control process can involve a core group of project manager and sponsor, who consistently get together to go over materials and then present their findings to a team of business and technical representatives for their input. The …

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