Practice Ten Components of Integrated Change Control

Friday, November 8, 2013

Change on a project should result in executing a change control process. However, it may not be so tidy. A change in one aspect of the project can lead to changes in other areas as well. For example a scope change request may lead to an increase schedule and budget. The request might impact the resources that are needed on the project and it might effect a vendor contract. The project manager needs to understand the nature of the change and how it might impact all other aspects of the project as well.
That is one of the main purposes of Integrated Change Control, a high-level process that helps you understand the nature of change on your project and how to manage and control change more effectively. Integrated change control includes the following activities.
  1. Making sure there are baselines in place (scope, budget, schedule, etc.) so that it is more obvious that a change has occurred.
  2. Looking at the causes of change to see if the causes can be (or should be) eliminated. For instance, if you believe you are receiving too many scope change requests, it may reflect on a poor requirements gathering process.
  3. Making sure no changes are implemented unless they have been approved.
  4. Making sure there are processes in place to manage change. The level of formality of the approval process increases with the size of the project and the size of the potential change.
  5. Making sure the entire project team, including the customer, understands the change management processes and follows them.
  6. Making sure the appropriate documentation is created and saved for each change.
  7. Understanding how changes impact all related aspects of the project and making sure all of the appropriate documentation is updated.
  8. Making sure that there is a person or body available to approve or reject all change requests.
  9. Making sure all change requests are closed by either an acceptance of the change or rejection of the change.
  10. Communicating changes and the impact on the project to the appropriate stakeholders.
We often see specific processes for scope change management, but Integrated Change Control is a way to think about the nature of change on your project in a more holistic way.


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