Ten Components for Integrated Change Control

Scope changes have an impact on the project. The impact can be greater than just schedule and budget. In many cases, it may be hard to understand the nature of a change and the impact to the various aspects of the project. For example a change request can come into the project that results in a change to scope. The scope change request may lead to a request to increase schedule and budget. The request might impact the types of resources that are needed on the project ands it might effect a vendor contract. The change could introduce additional risk. The project manager needs to understand the nature of the change and how it might impact all other aspects of the project.

changes aheadIntegrated Change Control is a way to better understand the nature of scope changes. Integrated change control includes the following.

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.

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.

Integrated change control provides a more holistic look at scope change across the entire project environment and can help projects be more successful – especially large projects.

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