Project Management

Is There Too Much Change Today?

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

My mother used to say that she had a completely original 30-year-old broom. She would boast that it had only had five new heads and two new handles. The point of course is that it wasn’t original because a broom consists of only a head and a handle.

Sometimes it can feel that way on our projects. What you end up delivering doesn’t seem much like what was originally approved because there have been so many changes implemented. There’s nothing left from when you started except the name of the project.

Today, there’s a bigger likelihood of that happening than ever because there are far more changes happening, although each of those changes tends to be smaller. In the past, it really was like the broom—you knew what was changed because those changes were large and significant. Today, individual changes are much smaller, but collectively they can add up to a significant shift in what is being delivered.

Is that a problem? Is there a point where the PM and stakeholders need to say that too much has changed and that the project has to be revisited to see if it’s even viable anymore? Or is this simply how projects are delivered these days?

It's not about the amount
I completely understand why the amount of change a project is being subjected to is a point of focus. Project teams want stability to complete their work, and if they can&…


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"I've always believed in the adage that the secret of eternal youth is arrested development."

- Alice Roosevelt Longworth