“We missed one of the major requirements,” Don, the PM, was reporting to the owner in the status meeting. “However, at this point we have very limited options. If we add it now, we blow out the schedule and budget.” “So what you are telling me,” replied Amy, the Finance Director and owner of this project, “is that I either have to live without this feature or I have to OK more money and it will go into production even later?”
The next activity in The Project Manager’s Cycle continues the “initiation” activities of the cycle. We’re still collecting and building the inputs to the week’s monitoring and controlling activities that we repeatedly perform for the life of the project. Therefore, this activity can be performed before, concurrently with, or after Validate the Metrics and Validate Task Status.
For this activity, Incorporate Approved Change Control, we are applying to our model the changes that have been approved in the prior week. We then re-baseline those elements of the model. The model is, of course, the project plan including the project schedule. It’s appropriate to perform this activity now so that as we update the actual results based on team members’ accomplishments, the updates are made to the current, approved plan. In addition, we want subsequent reports to reflect the approved plan – the one the stakeholder’s expect to see.
This activity completes the “initiation” activities of the weekly cycle. We now begin taking these inputs as well as other outputs from the previous cycle to work the project.
I’m going to throw in a semi-unrelated aside here. It’s unfortunate, but “Change Management” has two distinctly different connotations that lead to unnecessary confusion when we fail to make the intent crystal clear. Specifically, there is “Project Change Management” and “Organizational Change Management.” This post, as well as the PMBoK references to change management are for project change management – identifying, tracking, and applying approved changes to the baseline project plan.
Organizational change management, in contrast, is what we run into when we plan implementation of our project results – the people, process, and tool changes that our project makes to the organization.