Thursday, June 13, 2013

Change Management – The Process (Part 2)

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”
                                                                                                                                - Lao Tzu

This post concludes the series on change management that started with a discussion about what’s so confusing and is a continuation of my previous post on the process of project change management.  That post described the conceptual activities in project change management and why there are not explicit change management processes in the PMBoK.  Now it is appropriate to review what is in PMBoK and how it aligns with the conceptual activities.
The following PMBoK processes relate to project change management:
·         Develop project management plan
·         Plan [Knowledge Area] management
·         Direct and manage project work
·         Monitor & Control project work
·         Perform integrated change control

“Develop project management plan” and “Plan [Knowledge Area] management go hand-in-hand.  The project management plan includes each of the knowledge area management plans.  Each knowledge area plan (scope, time, cost, etc.) needs to include how change to that component will be managed.  In addition, the project management plan should describe how change requests are submitted, processed, reviewed and decided.
One thing I haven’t yet discussed is the two types of change.  There are, for example, changes to the product or service that is produced in “Direct and manage project work” and variance and compliance changes that are recognized in “Monitor and Control project work.”  We encountered both of these in a previous post on the philosophical dilemma of project change.  The project plans should,, of course, address how this dilemma is recognized and resolved in the “direct and manage” and “monitor and control” processes.

“Perform integrated change control” is the key to having project change work effectively.  It is here that change requests are received and processed.  As I mentioned in the previous post, this process is like initiating a complete mini-project for each request.  That’s why I have a dissonant response to Table 3-1 on page 60 of the PMBoK every time I pay attention to the location of 4.5 Perform Integrated Change Control, in the Monitoring and Controlling Process Group column.  Realistically, this step spans all five columns, from Initiating to Closing.  Not only does this span all process groups, but because a change to one functional group will trigger cascading changes in other functional groups, this activity also spans all functions (scope, time, cost, etc.), which is why it is integrated change control.
As I now bring this series to a close, the most important point to emphasize is that change will occur on your project, it will happen, and it must be planned for, you must prepare to have change, and you must have the processes and practices in place to effectively include, manage and control change in your project.

So now that you know everything I know about project change, what tips do you have for other PMs?
© 2013 Chuck Morton.  All Rights Reserved.

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