Articles - Change control procedure

By Manjeet Singh (based on excerpts from the free ProjectMind's quick guide to project management)

Seasoned project managers often identify dealing with changes and project creep as one of the most (if not the most) challenging problems that a project manager has to face. The very nature of projects makes change inevitable. Changes often impact the project’s budget and schedule (and sometimes the outcome). To cope with changes use a formal change control procedure as follows:

  1. When someone asks you for a change that will potentially impact your project, insist that the requestor submit the change request in writing using a change request template.
  2. Review the impact of the change on your project in terms of cost, schedule, performance and outcome. Review also what will happen if you do not implement the change.
  3. Accept or reject the change – depending on the importance of the change, you can involve your team members and/or the project sponsor in making the decision. If the change has been rejected, inform the requestor and all concerned parties.
  4. If the change has been accepted, document it, and update your project plan to take into account the change’s impact on your project’s schedule, budget and outcome.
  5. Communicate the accepted change and its impact to the requestor and all concerned parties (include the change in your next project review meeting).

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