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Change of Plan vs. new SOW

Follow PMs,

It there a quantifiable method that can be used to determine if the size of a requested change would merit writing a new Statement of Work instead of writing a Change of Plan?

My Example -- We just completed installing a new network topology for an entire building. The architectural diagrams were all approved by the client before beginning execution. Now that the network is in and we're heading towards project closure, the client stated that they believe the topology is too complex and wants a redesign. My opinion is that this would be a new project, or at least a "Phase 2" with a new SOW, not just a Change of Plan.

What are your thoughts, and do you have guidance for a methodology that can be used to make the determination?

I would suggest this comes down to A) your own business risk management approach B) whether you think a CR will be in-sufficient to cover the commercial/schedule/quality risks. C) what your customer is willing to accept.

I would suggest you quantify the need for a new SOW based on the number of elements/paragraphs/requirmeents in the current SOW that would change by the new requirements from the customer and review this with them before raising new SOW / CR to get their view on this, as they will also likely have similar risks in either approach which they may not have thought about.

There is no reason a change request form could not contain the same level of detail as a SOW and therefore becomes an annex to the SOW or states on the change form what parts of the current SOW are no longer relevant.

It will also depend partly on what your customer is willing to accept, I have been in scenarios where there have been 3 versions of SOW as changes have occurred and then they accepted 10 Change requests during the project as well.

As long as it is clear on either document what is impacted in the parent / original document you should be able to cover your risks.

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