How to Manage Off-Specifications

Tahir Khan holds a master’s degree in computer science from the Iqra University, Karachi. He has over 18 years’ experience in information technology, record of building, developing, and managing large-size projects with cross-functional teams for implementation, enhancement, support, and upgrade of core business systems. He has over 10 years of project and delivery management experience, providing expertise in planning with extensive qualifications managing the design, development, and delivery of cost-effective business solutions using project management methodologies such as PMI standards, agile, PRINCE2, Six Sigma, and ITIL. He holds Project Management Professional (PMP)®, PRINCE2, ITIL, and Six Sigma Green Belt certifications.

Change is inevitable during the project life cycle. Thus, every project needs a systematic procedure to identify assessment and control issues that may change project scope/objectives. A change can be as simple as a modification in the baseline scope (i.e., something is added to the baseline scope or something is removed from the baseline scope). These changes can arise from various sources throughout the project’s life.

This article provides details on what off-specifications are, and how an off-specification can be managed effectively.

In the PRINCE2 Training Manual (Turley, 2013), there is a defined approach available to manage issues, change requests, and off-specifications. The technique ensures good management of the issues, change requests, and off-specifications that affect the project targets, timelines, costs, quality of scope, and risks. The benefits are also managed in an appropriate way.

Managing Change
Project managers receive many issues during the project, some of which can be handled immediately without the need for any formal follow up, while others need to be handled formally.  A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Sixth Edition (PMI, 2017) addresses “change requests” (CR) only through a change control process, in which project managers determine the type of changes and then …

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