How to Develop an Integrated Change Control System
Your goal in developing an integrated change control system should be to ensure that the project management team and the stakeholders are not surprised by schedule delays or cost overruns.
By developing a change control process, documenting its parameters, and adhering to its guidelines, you can reduce the risk to your project and maintain it’s momentum.
Here are the guidelines…
#1 Previous approved changes
Thee may be already approved integrated change control system in your organisation, in which case it is your responsibility to implement it for your project in accordance with all relevant company procedures and requirements.
#2 Develop a template
If no integrated change control system is used in your organisation, you need to develop one for your project. Gather any relevant historical data within the organisation that relates to the process of identifying, documenting, approving or rejecting, and controlling changes to project baselines.
#3 Management approved a change
You need to identify what will be considered a change that is significant enough to require management approval.
For the sake of maintaining forward momentum on project work, project managers will not bring minor changes to schedule and cost estimates to upper management for approval.
You have to make sure that the Organisational expectations regarding change control have been clearly defined and documented.
How much latitude does the team have in making autonomous decisions about changes? At what point should you bring a change request to the project management team?
#4 Responsible Parties
In conversation with stakeholders and the project management team, you need to identify some interested parties in the project:
The people who are able to initiate change requests. These may include stakeholders, project management team members, and customers, among others.
The parties who are authorized to give or withhold business approval to request a change . Who will make the decision about whether or not a change is necessary and appropriate?
The parties who have the authority to approve funding, overtime costs and purchase orders.
The parties will be responsible for executing the work necessary to satisfy the requested change and evaluate the work for quality assurance.
The person (s) who will be responsible for managing changes. In some organizations, this may be the project manager, but in other organisations, it may be one or more functional managers.
The parties who are responsible for prioritizing changes and making qualitative decisions about them. In this change imperative to the success of the projector merely nice to have if time and resources allow?
#5 Identifying How
Identify how change requests must be approved. Some organisations may be written approval from customers before changes in the scope, schedule baseline and budget can be implemented.
A new Project Manager at a small, independent company, Johnson, will be responsible for following the organisation’s guidelines regarding changer control. He will first need to determine if there is a formal change control process in place; if there is not, he will take the responsibility of developing one for this project. He will begin by gathering all relevant information and documentation that will identify the changes that require management approval.
He will proceed to identify who the key players are within the management team who need to approve or initiate change requests. This will be very important when it comes to asking for additional funding for the project or deadlines extensions. He will also identify who will manage changes and give information for expenditures.
He will also need to document who need to give consent to change requests and whether the consent of customers is required.
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