Monday 6 December 2021

Change Management in Project

Changes in projects are a very dangerous thing. Just studying and evaluating these changes takes a lot of time and effort. Not all problem reports need to be responded to with changes, their analysis, and even more so with planning for execution. Therefore, change management should be considered as a small "project within a project".

For a project to succeed, it is critical for the project manager to keep change management in focus. Changes occur regularly in the course of the project, even in the initially defined and agreed structures, volumes, content and results of work.

A formalized change management process should be started in the project as early as possible, and certainly not later than the formal definition of its subject area is completed.

The main point of the change management process is that whenever decisions are made about changes in the subject area, the impact of these changes on the financial component of the project is taken into account. Note that the mentioned changes to the subject area of the project do not necessarily increase the amount of work and the cost of the entire project. 


Very often, changes can be made that reduce the overall amount of work, although in real life, changes that increase the amount of work of the project, of course, happen much more often.


Project changes can be financed from the internal budget of the project or from outside. But regardless, a few essential points must be included in the change management process.

First of all, it is necessary to determine the cost of working time, which will be required only to study and evaluate the proposed change. Project participants often ask to include more and more new "wishes" in the project, and this can, as they say, "drag the project team into a swamp." 


Just studying and evaluating these changes can take a lot of time and effort. So, the first step in the change management process should be to obtain permission from authorized project participants to allocate funds to conduct research (study and evaluate) the proposed changes.

Once such permission is obtained, the project team can use additional resources to perform research on the proposed change. 


The impact of the proposed change on all other components of the project should be studied. After determining the impact of the proposed change on the cost, timing, and scope of the project, you must make an informed decision on the proposed change. 


If a positive decision is taken and if the authorized project participants have confirmed the allocation of funds necessary for its implementation, this change should be reflected in the project management plan.

This means that the process of managing the changes of the project is actually a kind of small project to replan the project. 


All processes that needed to be used to plan the project must also be performed to manage project changes. If everything is done as described above, then when the basic (initial) cost, timing and subject area of the project changes, new project plans will be created and put into effect.

And I would like to finish this note on the eve of the upcoming holidays with one instructive story.


Sitting in a barbershop chair, the client said he was going to go to Rome for the Christmas holidays.
- To Rome? You're crazy! Well, why does everyone want to go there? It's dirty and full of tourists. And by the way, how do you get there? The barber asked.

"We bought tickets for a TWA flight at a great discount," was the reply.
- What? TWA? The barber exclaimed. "It's a terrible company, they have old planes, ugly flight attendants and their flights are always late. Well, where in Rome will you stay?

"We booked a room at the Marriott Hotel in the city center. - This shelter? This is the worst hotel in town – the rooms are small, the service is terrible and the prices are wild. And what will you do in Rome?
"We're going to visit the Vatican and see the Pope.

"It's funny," the barber laughed. "Along with you, another million people will want to see the Pope. You may be able to see it, but probably from such a great distance that it will look small like an ant. I wish you luck, it looks like you'll really need it on this creepy trip.

A month later, this man once again came to get a haircut from the same hairdresser, who of course asked him about the trip to Rome.

"It was wonderful! We flew on a brand new TWA plane, back and forth exactly on schedule, the planes were overcrowded and we were moved to the First Class cabin at no extra charge. The food and wine in Italy is wonderful. The hotel is outstanding, after a $25 million renovation, it became the best in Rome. 

By the way, the hotel was also crowded, and we were accommodated in the presidential apartment with apologies and without extra payment.
"Well, you probably didn't get to see the Pope," the hairdresser said.

- You won't believe it, but we're so lucky! As we walked around the Vatican, a Swiss guardsman stopped us and told us that the Pope wanted to talk to one of the visitors. We went to his office and, imagine, five minutes later the door opened, Dad came in and held out his hand to me. I bowed and the 

Pope said a few words to me.
- Really? The barber muttered. - So what did he say?

He said, "Who had such a terrible haircut?!"

It's up to you to judge what changes this story is about. I hope that nothing like this will happen in your projects and no one will be able to bother you with imaginary problems, while hiding real problems.

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